UPDATED Cantwell ready to lead ‘vibrant’ Wolfville

Jennifer
Jennifer Hoegg
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Updated Oct. 21, 10:55 a.m.

 

By Jennifer Hoegg

jhoegg@kingscountynews.ca

NovaNewsNow.com

 

Jeff Cantwell will be back in council chambers in Wolfville - this time at the head of the table.

The 62-year-old former town councillor had no idea the vote count was complete when he returned home from gathering up his campaign signs on election night around 8 p.m. to a house full of happy supporters.

According to unofficial results Oct. 20, Cantwell had 777 votes to current Coun. Keith Irving's 645, enough to win the mayoralty race.

“I’m just so humbled by the level of commitment and level of support of my friends,” he said shortly after he heard the news. “This wasn’t me, this was them. They kept me focused kept me on task.”

He said is looking forward to seeing Wolfville “move forward in a progressive and equitable fashion.”

Having served on council for nine years in the 1990s, Cantwell said one thing he learned during the campaign was that “not much has changed” in Wolfville.

“The town is still very community-minded,” he said. “Everyone is everyone else’s neighbour.” 

However, he said,  “the town has never been more vibrant in the 30 years I have lived here. It looks great.”

Wolfville School is Cantwell’s top priority. He said he wants to “get the entire community involved so we can drive Wolfville School to the top of the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board’s priority list for refurbishing.”

The Primary to Grade 8 school is the key to Wolfville’s future, Cantwell said.

“Young families, new families trying to look for a place to (live), you have to have a school and it has to be a centre of excellence.”

Enticing the people who visit the area on weekends to move in is one of the mayor-elect’s goals.

“We are the busiest community in mainland Nova Scotia any given Saturday or Sunday,” he pointed out. “We have people stopping and spending time and money.”

A short-term goal is to help the Wolfville Business Development Corporation as much as possible, he added. 

“It’s the market and the entrepreneurs that will drive that commercial base, but we have to set the infrastructure, a fair tax rate, make it attractive… with the school and other amenities to make people say ‘hey, this is the place to be’.”

Complaints about Main Street and Gaspereau Avenue’s busy four-way stop intersection are a sign of the liveliness of Wolfville’s downtown, he added.

“The bad news is we have a terrible traffic problem; the good news is we have a terrible traffic problem.”

Asked about the issues around noise and excessive drinking that came up during the campaign, Cantwell said those could be addressed by changing landlord behaviour. He said he is familiar with the student population through his wife’s property management work and  “a lot of the tension is a few spoiling it for the many.

“I don’t think (noise and nuisance issues are) all student related,” Cantwell added. “I think if the landlords could be held to a higher standard, if respect and dignity are shown to the tenant, that tenant will reciprocate.”

He spoke positively about all seven candidates for the six council seats.

“It’s a dynamic mix; a diversity of personalities,” Cantwell said. “A good mix of long-term residents and new ideas.”

Cantwell also praised his opponent, saying Irving “has community at heart. He has gone out and worked a very fair campaign.”

Irving agreed it was a clean, fair race

 “I had a great campaign team,” he said after the results were in. “Didn’t get into any mud. We tried to put out our ideas and a vision for the community. The community has made a choice. That’s what democracy is about.”

The architect and current town councillor says he doesn’t have any firm plans, but “there’s other ways to contribute” to the community.

Irving said he enjoyed the campaign, particularly the door-to-door campaigning and speaking with residents about the challenges Wolfville faces.

This was Cantwell’s second time running for the position. In 2008, he was second to incumbent Bob Stead in a four-man race, losing by only 30 votes. Stead did not reoffer this year.

 

Council results

 According to unofficial results, Wolfville council will consist of incumbents David Mangle, Carl Oldham and Hugh Simpson, along with newcomers Mercedes Brian, Wendy Donovan and Dan Sparkman.

Donovan had the most votes, 1001, followed by Mangle, 983; Oldham, 974; Brian, 925; Simpson, 898, and Sparkman with 696.

The seventh candidate, Garry Balcom, finished just three votes behind Sparkman with 693.

It was unknown at press time if Balcom planned to file a request for a recount.

 

 

 

Who is Jeff Cantwell?

-       Works for Hillcrest Volkswagen

-       Wolfville town councillor 1988 to 1991

-       Wolfville deputy mayor 1991 to 1997

-       Born in Newfoundland, raised in Halifax

-       Married with three children, one grandchild

_______________________________

Jeff Cantwell will be back in council chambers in Wolfville - this time at the head of the table.

Cantwell had no idea the vote count was complete when he returned home from gathering up his election signs election night around 8 p.m. to a house full of happy supporters.

According to unofficial results Oct. 20, Cantwell had 777 votes to current Coun. Keith Irving's 645 to win the mayoralty race.

“I’m just so humbled by the level of commitment and level of support of my friends” he said shortly after he heard the news. “This wasn’t me, this was them. They kept me focused kept me on task.”

He said is looking forward to seeing Wolfville “move forward in a progressive and equitable fashion.”

The 62-year-old sales specialist with Hillcrest Volkswagen said he was looking forward to hearing results of the council race. All seven candidates, he said, were people he feels he can get along well with.

“It’s a dynamic mix; a diversity of personalities,” Cantwell said about the potential councillors.  “A good mix of long-term residents and new ideas.”

Cantwell also praised his opponent, saying Irving “has community at heart.

“He has gone out and worked a very fair campaign.”

Having served on council for nine years in the ‘90s, Cantwell said one thing he learned during the campaign was that “not much has changed” in Wolfville.

“The town is still very community minded,” he said. “Everyone is everyone else’s neighbour.” 

Issues around student neighbours, Cantwell said, could be addressed by changing landlord behavior. He said he is familiar with the student population through his wife’s property management work and  “a lot of the tension is a few spoiling it for the many.

“I don’t think (noise and nuisance issues are) all student related,” Cantwell added. “I think if the landlords could be held to a higher standard, if respect and dignity re shown to the tenant, that tenant will reciprocate.”

This was Cantwell’s second time running for the position. In 2008, he was second to incumbent Bob Stead in a four-man race, losing by only 30 votes. Bob Stead did not reoffer this year.

Irving agrees it was a clean fair race

 “I had a great campaign team,” he said after the results were in. “Didn’t get into any mud.

“We tried to put out our ideas and a vision for the community," Irving said. "The community has made a choice. That’s what democracy is about.”

The architect and current town councillor says he doesn’t have any firm plans but “there’s other ways to contribute” to the community.

Irving said he enjoyed the campaign, particularly the door-to-door campaigning and speaking with residents about the challenges Wolfville faces.

Council results

 According to unofficial results, Wolfville council will consist of incumbents David Mangle, Carl Oldham and Hugh Simpson along with newcomers Mercedes Brian, Wendy Donovan and Dan Sparkman.

 

Wendy Donovan – 1001

David Mangle – 983

Carl P. Oldham – 974

Mercedes Brian – 925

Hugh Simpson – 898

Dan Sparkman – 696

Garry Balcom - 693

 

 

Geographic location: Wolfville

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  • Innovative
    October 20, 2012 - 20:34

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1J_7qXPI4DU