11 candidates, six seats and 900 potential voters
STEWIACKE - There's a municipal election campaign underway here, but you wouldn't know it from driving through the town.
© Raissa Tetanish - Truro Daily News
Mastadon Ridge is not the only thing worth shouting about in Stewiacke these days. The town, whch has an estimated 1,500 residents, is in the midst of a spirited election campaign as11 candidates are vying for six council seats.
Lawns and street corners that are normally home to candidates' signs in most communities throughout the province stand empty in this 106-year-old town.
But don't be fooled. Eleven candidates are on the campaign trail and with only six council seats up for grabs there's plenty of work to be done. It just doesn't include signs.
"There isn't a policy regarding signs that I'm aware of, but with a population of about 1,400 and 900 on the electoral list I don't think the signs are needed," explained one candidate.
Instead, the six men and five women vying for votes are going door-to-door to discuss the issues or sending out flyers to residents in the area.
Among them are incumbents Debbie Frizzell, Pam Osborne, Russel Stoddart and Tracy Werenka. Newcomers include Chad Ramsey, Chester Gourley, Richard Patterson, Susan Creelman, Sherrylynn Woodworth, Jim Acker and Jim McMorran.
Wendy Robinson, who currently sits as a deputy mayor, has already been acclaimed mayor.
The issues - property taxes, the need to attract more businesses, infrastructure, sidewalks, - echo those of most small rural towns.
"I'd like to see commercial and business park development to help relieve the residential taxpayers," said one male candidate, who also advocated more recreational facilities for all ages.
"It's all about the welfare, development and future of the town and to make sure the finances are secure," he said.
Another candidate said current infrastructure, including roads, are in need of some work.
"Paving is always a major concern here. And the town could use some lights at the corner of Main Street West and the Number 2 Highway. It's not a priority but there has been a lot of talk about it and there have been a number of accidents there."
He'd also like to see more volunteers coming forward to help keep some community events going, such as Town Days and the Rhubarb Festival, as current volunteers get older.
Flooding has also been on the list of concerns, according to another candidate.
"There are a few areas in town where there hadn't been flooding before, but it's certainly been something the residents have mentioned," she said
For resident Cindy White, one of the major issues she and her neighbours have is how abruptly the sidewalk ends at the Winding Road Elementary School.
"There's a turn right there and the cars travel by fast," she said. "There is no shoulder to walk on. I have three little kids and for the next nine years I'll be taking them to that school. We could be tentatively walking, or even biking, to and from school."
Having lived in Stewiacke for most of the past seven decades, Betty Dickie said a lot of good things have happened in the town, including the expansion of walking trails.
She would also like to know what's happening with the industrial park, but is concerned about traffic in the area.
"There's some heavy traffic near there a lot of times," she said.
Residents of Stewiacke can vote either electronically or by paper ballot.
Polls close at 7 p.m. on Oct. 20.