Robinson humbled to be first female mayor in town's history
Wendy Robinson will be sworn in as Stewiacke's first female mayor tonight.
STEWIACKE - Wendy Robinson is set to make history tonight when she's sworn in as the Town of Stewiacke's first female mayor.
"It's very humbling," said Robinson, 50, who was appointed to the mayor's seat by acclamation during the most recent municipal election.
"I sat on town council for four years and was able to observe the mayor's seat. Because the current mayor, and he's current until the swearing in, Dereck Rhoddy has chosen to move onto a different level of politics, I felt I would be able to do that position."
For about a year before the election, Robinson had been thinking about running for the mayoral seat in the town, which has a population of about 1,500.
"The circumstances arose that the position was vacant, so that made my decision easier. I'm not sure I would have run for the position if Mayor Rhoddy had re-offered. It wasn't out of the question, but I don't know if I would have," she said.
As mayor, Robinson said she has the same agenda as she did when she was sitting as a councilor for the town.
"My vision is to grow the town of Stewiacke, but keep that small-town feeling. I want the things that we cherish and value in town to remain that way, for the most part."
During the election, 11 candidates, including four incumbents, were vying for six seats around the council table. In the end, three of the councillors are returnees - Pam Osborne, Tracy Werenka and Russel Stoddart - while the other three are newcomers - Richard Patterson, Susan Creelman and Chad Ramsey.
"I'm really looking forward to working with the new council and seeing what they have to bring forward," said Robinson.
"I think it's going to be very interesting. The dynamics change even when you change one member, but to have three change, it will be very interesting to see how they all come together."
She said the biggest issue facing residents in the town, of which they aren't shy about voicing their concerns on, is the tax rate.
"I'm a taxpayer as well so I would certainly like to see them lowered, but as someone who has been working with the town and has seen a little more in depth on the issue, I feel we are very much in line with other communities in the province," she said.
"I think when people compare the tax rate here against Colchester County, they don't always see the level of service we receive."
The acclaimed mayor also said there is never enough money that residents would like to see go toward street paving, and there is also some infrastructure left in the town that needs work.
The new council will be sworn in tonight at Stewiacke Town Hall at 7 p.m.
Name: Wendy Robinson
Family: Two children - a 22-year-old daughter and 21-year-old son.
Hobbies: Volunteers with a number of organizations and events, such as dinners with the Royal Canadian Legion, the United Church, the provincial and federal NDP organizations in the riding, and a variety of community events.
Years on town council: Four years as councilor.
Entered politics because: Her interest was piqued during a political science course while studying for her undergraduate for a bachelor of arts degree at St. Mary's University, followed by a masters degree.