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The Candidates: Four in running for vacant council seat in Middleton

Four candidates are vying for one council seat in Middleton. They are, from left, John Bartlett, Mark MacFadyen, Dan Smith, and Philip Townsend.
Four candidates are vying for one council seat in Middleton. They are, from left, John Bartlett, Mark MacFadyen, Dan Smith, and Philip Townsend. - Lawrence Powell
MIDDLETON, N.S. —

Four candidates are running for a lone council seat in Middleton left vacant by Brad Reid mid-way through his first term.

When nominations closed at 5 p.m. March 5, John Bartlett, Mark MacFadyen, Dan Smith and Philip Townsend had filed papers with the returning officer.

Reid, who was elected in October of 2016 during province-wide municipal elections, moved outside town limits because of job requirements.

At its Jan. 21 meeting, Middleton town council set the election date for March 30.

Nomination papers are available to be viewed by the public, but they cannot be duplicated.

The election will be conducted using electronic voting, the same way the town did in 2016.

Voting begins at 9 a.m. on March 21 and goes 24/7 until 7 p.m. on March 30.

You don’t need to have a computer or an electronic device to vote from home, you can use your home phone and letters have been sent out to eligible voters with instructions.

There is also a voting kiosk at the town office, which is available weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until Friday, March 29.

Ordinary polling day is March 30 and the polling station will be at the Middleton Fire Hall from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Candidate Profiles

The following are profiles of the four candidates, shown alphabetically.

JOHN BARTLETT

Bartlett has many leadership courses and management programs with the Canadian Military and Capital Health. He is the owner of Capitol Pub and Bistro 300.

Previous employment has included the military, nutrition supervisor, training chef with Feed Nova Scotia, and director of support services with GEM Healthcare.

Volunteerism

“Since moving to Middleton, I have had the good fortune to become involved with my community in the following roles: Board member with ADEDA (Annapolis Digby Economic Development Agency). This was as the Town on Middleton representative; original member of MABA (Middleton and Area Business Association); president of Central Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce; board member of Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce; and board member with PeopleWorx.”

Interests

“My interest in council is simple. Middleton has been very welcome and supportive of me and my business. I feel this is a way for me to give back in a meaningful way and where I could have the biggest impact for the community as a whole.

“As with any community there are issues that need (to be) addressed and worked on and not all those issues are the same for every resident. I have heard about overhead crosswalk signs, property taxes, services such as water. It would be my first duty to educate myself on the issues and see what can be done to improve them.

“I feel my strengths are my business experience and dealing with the day-to-day issues as a result of that. I am driven to not only succeed in my own business but to give back to a community that has supported me.

“Middleton has numerous strengths. First of all, schools that have a reputation of providing the best education for our youth. A business park that has plenty of room for expansion that would not only create jobs but also increase the amount of property tax collected by the town that would help keep taxes down and/or improve services.

“If I was to be quoted and remembered for something it would be: ‘I am humbled by the support the community has shown me and this is a way for me to give back to this same community in a meaningful way.’”

MARK MacFADYEN

Volunteerism

“I have lived with my family in Middleton for the past nine years, where I have volunteered in a number of capacities,” said MacFadyen.

In addition, “I was awarded an Annapolis County Volunteer Award in 2016 and focus a lot of time on my middle school students at Middleton Regional High School.”

MacFadyen has a B.Ed in education, an M.Ed in educational guidance, as well as an M.Ed in literacy education.

Interests

MacFadyen adds his interest in municipal politics has increased more and more, especially during the last few years.

“I became interested in municipal council a few years ago and ran in the 2016 election. I am running again this year because I want to contribute to my community by offering a fresh perspective and an optimistic voice. I want to focus my time and efforts on some key areas.”

There are many key issues he feels are vital for this area.

“First, I want to have volunteer-led community initiatives. For example, we should have regular workshops in town where people share their expertise. This might be about gardening, digital photography or yoga. Let’s figure out a way to connect and learn from each other.

“Second, I want to support recreation, as the long-term health of our citizens is vital. We have great programs that are appreciated many people, and I want to help those programs continue to thrive.

“Third, I want to help make Middleton a more attractive place to do business. Our local businesses are led by smart and engaged people who have great ideas on how to make our town more business friendly. I want to work with our local entrepreneurs to build on their success.”

MacFadyen says the community has the skills and people it needs to be successful.

“We have a strong community full of incredible people. Our skills and talents can make Middleton a better place to live, work, raise children, or retire. I am a community builder and an optimist, and I would love the opportunity to work for you.”

DAN SMITH

Dan Smith has been the owner/operator of Balanced Books Accounting Services Limited in Middleton for over 20 years. He graduated from Saint Mary’s University with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1987. He later served on Middleton town council and various committees from October 2008 until October 2016 (deputy mayor 2012-2016).

Volunteerism

Local volunteerism includes time on the MRHS School Advisory Committee, coaching little league baseball, and instructing Steve Nash minor basketball.

Interests

“I have always been interested in politics at all levels. I have enjoyed serving on municipal council in the past because many of the basic services we enjoy such as recreation, water/sewer infrastructure, roads/sidewalks, police and fire protective services are implemented and maintained at the municipal government level.

“There are many issues of importance in the Town of Middleton. Our roads and sidewalks are in need of improvement. Our water reservoir must be replaced. We have old underground pipes that are in constant need of replacement and repair. We need to improve our town hall and fire hall buildings. We need to find ways to work more closely with our neighbouring municipal partners to continue to provide recreation facilities and programs for all ages of our community. We need to continue to develop a partnership with the local business owners so that all opportunities for economic growth are explored and acted upon. And all of (these) … impact on our residential and commercial property tax and water rates.

“I am experienced from having previously served on council. I am a local business owner who understands the importance of creating an environment that is attractive to people of all ages. I use the recreation facilities that we have so I understand their importance within the community. I am an accountant, so I am mindful of the relationship between providing quality town services and the impact the cost … these services has on our tax rates.

“The strength of Middleton is the wide range of services and benefits ... Middleton truly is a full-service town. I see the role of town council as one that enhances the ability of these businesses and institutions to provide these services by having affordable taxes and water, by having safe and snow-cleared streets and sidewalks, and by having a safe and secure place to live.”

PHILIP TOWNSEND

Philip Townsend, a supervisor of TRA Middleton, attended MRHS and has been working on his GED.

Volunteerism

His volunteer efforts include being a 27-year member of the Middleton Fire Department, including fire prevention officer, Rotary Club of Middleton, and Relay for Life.

Interests

“In 2016 I ran for council and was unsuccessful. But what brought me to run in the first place was my daughter. She is growing up in this town, and I want to make it the best place for her to live and possibly raise her family here.

“Some of the issues I’d like to address and work with council if successful are: To make Middleton a safer place by getting overhead crosswalk lights at busy intersections and high traffic areas. To hopefully hire more RCMP officers to keep our town safe. To work with other members of council to provide more activities for youth. To make sure sidewalks and roads are repaired and safe for citizens to walk/drive on.

“I believe I bring a strong sense of community -- having grown up here I have gotten to know this town and its residents. I feel comfortable talking with anyone, and having conversations about how to help this community.

“One of Middleton’s greatest strengths is our hospital. People like to live close to amenities and services, as a town with a strong council, we should be out there helping recruit doctors to our area. This would then hopefully attract more people to Middleton, increasing our tax base. These people would also be shopping in local shops, keeping jobs in Middleton. This could also possibly lead to some of those people opening new businesses, creating jobs.

“Another strength, the industrial park. Let’s get out there, find companies who might want to set up satellite offices or businesses in rural areas to save money. Again, this would increase the tax base and hopefully create jobs.”

Quote: “Go vote! Exercise your right to democracy, whether you feel if I am the right candidate for the job or not. I wish the other candidates the best of luck and if successful, I will do my best to serve the community of Middleton.”

(NOTE: Candidates were given the same list of question. These profiles are based on their answers.)

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