BARRY’S BAY – Through the luck of the draw, Carl Bromwich is the newest councillor of the Township of the Madawaska Valley.
On August 28, around 75 people attended a special council meeting that was held at the Paul J. Yakabuski Community Centre. Council listened to presentations from the seven candidates that submitted their names for the councillor seat left vacant by Shaun O’Reilly, who resigned this summer.
Each candidate was allotted 20 minutes to speak and was asked to answer two questions that they were provided prior to the meeting.
The questions included: What is your understanding of the role and responsibilities of a councillor for the Township of Madawaska Valley and what in your background makes you believe that you are the best person to fill this vacancy? And, what do you see are the immediate challenges facing this municipality and what are your suggestions as to how to address them?
Mayor Shulist said council chose to fill the vacancy this way to assure accountability and transparency.
Following the presentations and without discussion, each councillor voted on which candidate they supported.
Councillor Bob Kulas voted for Carl Bromwich, Councillor Linda Neuman voted for Kim Love, Mayor David Shulist also voted for Kim Love and Councillor Sylvie Yantha voted for Carl Bromwich.
Because there was a tie, both names were placed in a hat and Mayor Shulist drew Bromwich’s name.
“I feel good, I feel a little overwhelmed,” Bromwich told the Gazette. “This is going to be, hopefully, a sign of good things to come.”
Bromwich ran in the 2010 municipal election and has lived in the Madawaska Valley since 1974. He said his first order of business is to introduce several items to get council on a new path to get public trust reinstated with council.
“There has been a big rift over the last year as we have noticed,” he said. “As an outsider looking in, I could see the potential of, all it’s going to take is a little bit of positive debate and conversation…introduce a couple of motions in council that they won’t find too offensive to mend the fences that have been broken.”
Bromwich said he supports ratepayers from all across the three municipalities.
“I am bi-partisan, I don’t subscribe to any particular political party. I am here for the people,” he said. “Everything I bring to council will represent all three municipalities that were amalgamated.”
The issue of transparency was one all of the candidates addressed at the meeting last Wednesday.
With the exception of Thaddeus George Bialy, who withdrew from the race due to personal matters, the seven contenders spoke to council about their vision for the future.
Candidates’ names were drawn from a hat to determine the lineup. Below is a glimpse of what each candidate presented to council.
Story continues in the September 4, 2013 issue of The Valley Gazette.