We asked ‘For Councillor’ candidates: “If you are elected to council, what is the main issue/idea you would tackle for the citizens of Gander?”
The following responses are listed in alphabetical order of last names.
I am Rob Anstey and I am seeking the opportunity to continue to serve you as your representative on council.
A native of Gander I have lived, worked, and raised my family here. During my 37-year career with Canada Post, I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know generations of Ganderites; many of whom I now call friends.
Sixteen years ago I entered the world of municipal politics and have been your voice on council since. As your representative, I have worked on your behalf and with you to make Gander a better place to live, work and play. A state-of-the-art water treatment plant, robust water and sewer infrastructure, new parks and playgrounds, a well-trained, dedicated and fully equipped fire department, and the beautiful, something-for-everyone Cobb’s Pond Rotary Park are testaments to our hard work.
The greatest challenge over the next four years will be meeting the infrastructure and programming needs of our vibrant and growing community in a manner that yields the most from our hard-earned tax dollars.
The new $38-million wastewater treatment plant will support our growth for generations, but we must cover more than a third of its cost. This “must have” will mean less money to invest in our “wants” but it cannot stymie investment in the “needs” that support our growth.
I will work with our government partners and community stakeholders to find creative ways to fund these important needs. Our contribution from savings will be achieved through the introduction of innovative and creative measures that allow us to do more with less.
I am confident that, as in the past, we can achieve our objectives while keeping a debt ratio of less than 20 per cent, and maintaining tax rates that are among the lowest in the province for communities our size.
Name: Gina Brown
Born into a military family but have grown roots in Gander. I obtained the rank of leading seaman in the Navy Reserve (HMCS Cabot). I graduated with two BSc degrees (psychology, physiotherapy) and I was co-owner of a work rehab clinic.
In 2003 I began a career as a TV host/producer with Rogers TV for Gander’s “Skyways” show, highlighting what is important to the people and organizations of Gander. The show ended in May 2017, and now I am in a unique position to bring what I have learned and put it into action on Gander Town Council.
I have been married to my husband Steve for 27 years and we are raising three teens who are heavily engaged in sports and arts.
I have volunteered on executive boards with the Provincial Eating Disorder Foundation of NL, Gander Minor Hockey, and have been chair/past-chair with Gander’s Roads to End Violence (2010-present).
Town council is legislated to fulfill basic infrastructure needs: roads, water, and sewage. But a town is much more than its basic needs. I believe our main focus needs to be economic growth and development, since all other important services – such as recreational demands, increased policing, community services, beautification – are funded on the back of a consistently strong municipal revenue. Council must constantly explore potential sources of economic growth and build on Gander’s strengths.
Gander is a service center to approximately 85,000 people from 130 surrounding communities. We are strategically placed to become the province’s premiere location for services, conventions, concerts, sporting events, and tourism. Gander is currently not able to capitalize on this tremendous revenue source because it does not have the facilities to support the demand. Gander needs to foster an environment that encourages businesses to invest. Council needs to be creative, proactive, and work with community stakeholders to ensure Gander’s future economic prosperity.
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Name: Darren Byrne
Born in Botwood, I moved to Gander in 2001. I received a bachelor of business administration from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1993. I have worked for the past decade with Canada Post and most of you know me as a letter carrier these past 10 years. Along with my wife Tonya, we have four beautiful children, Jenna (22), Matthew (19), Ally (13) and Adam (9). My vision is to be apart of a community where our children have the opportunity to grow and live in Gander instead of having to move away to find work.
Centrally located, Gander is well positioned to be the hub of the northeast coast, allowing us to grow and diversify our economy.
If elected, my priority would be mitigating the "Muskrat Falls" effect. With electricity costs expecting to double in the next two years, our citizens are facing a staggering financial challenge.
First, homeowners will see a significant increase to their electric bill. Second, the town's $1.1-million power bill will double as well. With the later having to be passed along to the taxpayers, it’s paramount that we get ahead of this crucial issue. This means retrofitting our buildings and taking advantage of the subsidies and grants that are available.
Addressing this issue now will mitigate rising costs and lower the amount the town will have to pass along to its taxpayers.
With your help on election day, I am ready to meet this challenge head on. On Sept. 26, I respectfully ask for your vote.
Name: Brian Dove
I’m Brian Dove and I’m seeking re-election to Gander’s Town Council. It has been a privilege for me to serve for these past four years. This experience has been enlightening and I hope to be given the opportunity to continue to serve the citizens of Gander with integrity and a fair and balanced approach. It’s been an honour to serve as chair of Tourism/Special Events, including the Festival of Flight and chair of Finance and Administration. I’ve served on the Municipal Works, Economic Development and Recreation committees. I was also Council’s representative for the North Atlantic Aviation Museum and the Heritage Memorial Park.
I was born in Twillingate but I have lived in Gander since 1979. My early employment was in the retail/service industry and since 1990 I have been employed at the Arts & Culture Centre, spending 10 years as Theatre technician and becoming the Centre’s regional manager in 1999. I have served as the chair of the NL Drama Society since 2008 and a board member since 1990. My wife Michele, a retired teacher and I have one son, Alex, who is completing a Business degree at MUN.
If I am fortunate enough to be re-elected, the main issue that I would like to tackle is Gander’s need for a multi-purpose recreation facility and most importantly, whether we can afford such a facility.
I have great respect for my fellow councillors and Town staff, including our Fire Department and Municipal Enforcement officers. These folks are passionate about Gander and take great pride in their work. As a councillor it is my responsibility to ensure the policies we have in place and any new policies enable staff to work efficiently and effectively and enable our citizens to have a high quality of life in a thriving community.
Name: Oswald Fudge
I was born in Lewisporte but raised in Gander. I am married with three kids, and I have been in the enforcement field for 38 years with 30 of those years with your local town police. Over those 30 years I have coached Grades 7, 8 and 9 girls basketball at St. Pauls, coached senior girls and boys volleyball at Gander Collegiate, assistant coach Gander Collegiate girls basketball, breakfast program at Gander Collegiate, SPCA, Boys and Girls Club, past president of the ATV Federation for NL to name a few.
With my 30 years working for the Town of Gander I feel I have a special insight in the operations of the town. If elected some of the issues that I would like to work on are: 1) improving the working relationship between the Town of Gander and local business community, this is a must.
2) Lakeside Homes is run down and it’s time for the building to be replaced. As a council we have to go after the Provincial Government to get this done.
3) A second ice surface.
4) ATV/Snow machine regulations and trail system, this includes not only through the town but around the town.
5) We need to install a set of lights at the intersection of Memorial and Cooper Blvd.
6) We have to look at new soccer fields, baseball fields and a proper race track.
7) We have to speak out the next time the Provincial and or Federal governments decide to move jobs out of Gander. These are just a few items that are on my agenda. On Sept. 26th I ask for your support.
Name: Paul Hamlyn
Since 1979, I have called Gander home. My parents, Fred and Clementine Hamlyn moved here when my father was transferred with NewTel. I graduated from Gander Collegiate in 1984.
I have decided to raise my own family here since 2002. I am married to my best friend Heather and we have two wonderful children together, Noah and Madison.
I have been employed as an Air Reservist with 103 Search and Rescue Squadron since 2004. A former Cormorant SAR Pilot, I am currently the Flight Safety and Public Affairs Officer.
As a volunteer in this community I have served as a board member with the North Atlantic Aviation Museum, as an Auxiliary RCMP Officer and as a committee member with Ducks Unlimited Canada.
This is my second time running for council as I ran in the 2013 Municipal Election.
If elected my main issue would be to tackle fiscal accountability. Closer examination of how our taxes are spent would be paramount. I would look for better ways to operate more efficiently thus utilizing the taxes of our citizens more effectively. Raising taxes should not be the only option, we must strive to make it affordable for all people to live and work in this town.
Gander has a bright future that requires initiatives to bolster new business development and investment. Sound financial planning will help businesses commit to investing in our community which would provide employment opportunities and broaden our tax base.
Your consideration and support on 26 September is appreciated, thank you.
Name: Sarah McBreairty
I’m married to Neal Blackmore and together we are the proud parents of two young boys. I studied philosophy at MUN and culinary arts at Holland College and was first elected to council in 2013. I’ve worked on a number of projects and initiatives including catering; website development; and metal prospecting and property development. Outside of council I sit on the Rotary Club’s Board of Directors and take pride in the club’s moto of service above self. I chair the town’s Economic Development, Tourism and Culture Committee, am a member of the Governance and Community Engagement Committee and the Engineering, Planning and Controls Committee. I’m Council’s representative on the GIAA’s Consultative Committee, the Gander Community Garden Committee, the Gander Refugee Outreach Committee, the Gander Heritage Advisory Committee and the NAAM Board.
If re-elected to council the main issue I would tackle would be economic development. The Town is in the process of undertaking a new town plan and the Economic Development Department is working to ensure that commercial space is prioritized and planned for. I will ensure a “culture of yes” exists in the town to help entrepreneurs develop their ideas. This includes having mechanisms in place to assist start-ups to grow to the next level and for existing businesses to expand. Continuing my focus on capacity building, providing a welcoming environment, and eliminating some of the bureaucratic red tape as outlined in the CFIB’s Red Tape report will help achieve this.
In addition, I plan to help the town identify and define its role in local tourism development by implementing the recommendations arising from the Tourism Opportunity Management process and subsequent plan. This process will provide a clear understanding of the needs of the business sector with regards to tourism and will let us know what supports are needed to help the industry thrive.
Name: Gerry Parrott
I was born in Gander and spent most of my life here. I finished schooling here and later on worked for Transport Gander then Nav Canada where I retired. Being retired gives me the opportunity to spend time on being a councillor.
I have been on council for the past five years and look forward to the next four years with your support. Some of the organizations that I’ve been involved with are 91 CEF, GIAA Building Committee, NAAM, and Civic Enhancement Committee.
The past fours a lot of attention and money was spent on our aging infrastructure, so I think we have to improve recreation facilities and to continue work on economic development. On Sept. 26 I am respectfully asking for your vote.
Name: Tara Pollett
Born and raised in Gander. Married to Bob Pollett, son of the late Frank and Phyllis Pollett, and we have two children, Robyn (19) and Alex (16).
I am a third-generation Gander resident and daughter to Lloyd and Gertie Granter, and granddaughter to Gerald and Agnes Granter and the late Jim and Annie Dooley. I presently work at Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Air Services Division as a flight dispatcher.
My volunteer career includes:
2017- present: president of Gander Minor Hockey
2009-2016: president of Silver Jets Skating Club
2003-2009: vice-president/parent rep SJSC
2016: fundraising chair GC Grad Committee
2010-2012: recycling coordinator Gander Academy
Member of focus group for TOG's Recreation Master Plan
My main focus if elected will be growth. Growth encompasses many aspects in terms of how we attract new business, health care professionals, and new families to make Gander their home. Gander has become a hub for seniors. These seniors are moving to Gander to be close to amenities and the hospital. We need to maintain services at our hospital to ensure these seniors will stay.
It is estimated that Gander loses approximately $7 million per year in lost revenues due to the fact that we are unable to accommodate the number of trade shows, conventions, or sports events that would like to set up in Gander. This is the type of revenue we can generate from the outside. Put these revenues back into our infrastructure and really start to market our town as central Newfoundland's hub for recreation, healthcare services, and retail. If the services are here in terms of healthcare, recreation and retail, it will be more likely that new families, including health care professionals, will make Gander their choice over our neighboring communities.
On Sept. 26, I respectfully ask for your vote.
Name: Stephanie Winsor
I moved to Gander in 1987. I immediately developed a sense of community and connection with the people and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else! I am raising my three wonderful sons and serving citizens every day in my role as nurse manager of Emergency and Paramedicine Departments at JPM.
As far back as I can remember, I have wanted to contribute to the well-being of others. For 15 years I have devoted much of my spare time to charities and organizations which hold special meaning to me and so many others. From the education system, to recreation, women’s councils, and many other boards, I have volunteered and attended regular meetings in efforts to better community living for all ages! I am passionate about investing my time in ways to help those who need it, and in 2012 I was humbled to be officially recognized by the mayor during National Volunteer Week.
If I am elected, I realize I will be one voice in a newly created team. Initially, the main issue to address would be getting to know my fellow councilors and mayor in order to cultivate a working dynamic. There is a learning curve to change, and it will be my focus to understand the internal operations of the Town and the processes/policies which govern council as well as establish communication with Town employees.
Name: Pat Woodford
I was born in Grand Falls and moved to Gander with my family when I was 16. I am passionate about our community and I have always been proud to call Gander my home for the past 41 years. I am committed to working hard to make our community the best place in our province to live, work, and raise a family.
Following high school, I studied business at St F.X. University and went on to spend five years with the Canadian Armed Forces as an Air Traffic Controller. Today I am employed as an air traffic controller with Nav Canada. It’s a career I have loved and been dedicated to with the utmost professionalism for over 30 years.
I am very community–minded and believe in the importance of giving back. I have volunteered in different capacities over the years with many organizations including the Gander Senior Flyers, St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program, Canadian Red Cross, Ride for Sight, and the Salvation Army.
There are several issues important to Gander residents. I will work hard on their behalf to find solutions to any concern they have and need help with. One of the key issues raised during my campaign was the completion of our new waste water management facility. My first priority will be to work tirelessly to ensure the successful completion of this facility as quickly as possible.
It would be an honour to serve the citizens of Gander on their municipal council. They can count on me to be accountable and accessible. I will bring a fresh, smart and energetic approach, and will always be guided by values of honesty and integrity in everything I do. I promise to be the strong and effective voice that residents need and deserve. Together, we will get things done!