Mills running on track record, Jones says new vision is needed
Mayor candidates for the Town of Truro, Keltie Jones and Bill Mills, each believe they are the best person to fill the town's top position. They have different opinions on many things and are trying to convince voters of their viewpoints before election day on Saturday. Monique Chiasson - Truro Daily News
TRURO - With only four days until the municipal election, Bill Mills and Keltie Jones continue to spar on many issues.
Both are trying to convince voters they are the best person to lead the town. While one has long-term experience, the other suggests new vision and leadership is needed to renew the area.
Mills, who has been Truro's mayor for 15 years, said having someone with town council experience is important.
"Now is not the time for on-the-job training. We've had a pretty good track record for 15 years and I want to keep it going," said Mills.
He said his longevity and passion for the town makes him the ideal candidate as well as his determination to move projects forward.
"I'm about getting down to business," he said, adding projects such as the new hospital and civic centre are examples of initiatives that came to fruition while he's been in office.
Mills said he's heard the complaint that it seems to take council a long time to implement certain projects. He pointed to the library relocation discussions as an example, stating he wanted to come to a decision on the topic last winter.
"I asked council to make a decision on it ... (but) a mayor is only as good as the people around him," referring to council's decision to delay the vote. "Collaboration is great but sooner or later a decision has to be made."
Mills also said his partnerships within the town and county have helped lead to many projects including the off-leash dog park, the new farmers' market, development of the Riverfront Park, downtown revitalization and the creation of a new civic centre and hospital.
Jones, on the contrary, said there are many benefits of having a new person and vision in the mayor's seat.
"It's time for a change. I hear over and over that nothing is happening and there is no leadership in town," Jones said, referring to topics such as ongoing flooding issues throughout the town.
"I don't study things for hours on end. I'm a listener and my style is very collaborative. I see a dispute and I help people come to an understanding and help them see they are not as far apart as they thought," said Jones.
Jones added she's receiving positive feedback while campaigning.
"I am hearing, ‘I'm so glad you are running,'" she said, adding she does have experience dealing with public office.
When she lived in California, Jones served for five years, one of them as president, on a school board that had a $65-million budget.
One of Jones' issues with town council is how it operates.
"Committee meetings, they do not have a record of them. Even though no decisions are made, conversations are so important" and should be officially available on record, she said.
Jones also believes people would be more informed about the town's goings-on if the monthly meetings were held in the evening, such as 6 p.m., as compared to early afternoon.
Jones said if elected as mayor, she would like to see more infrastructure as a way of attracting more people to the area as well as "addressing unemployment and poverty issues" in the town.