LUNENBURG VOTES 2023: Special Election to be held August 12, Councillor Halverson and Board of Trade President Myra intend to run for Mayor



Lunenburgers will decide their next Mayor, and likely a new councillor, at the height of summer – The Town of Lunenburg is holding a Special Election on August 12, 2023.

The election for the position of Mayor is being held in the wake of former Mayor Matt Risser’s resignation in May.

Election day, August 12, falls on the Saturday of the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival – considered the busiest weekend of the year in Lunenburg.

Advance voting begins August 3, and residents can vote by phone or online any time from then until 7 p.m. on the 12th.

Everyone eligible to vote will receive a Voter Information Letter in the mail before voting begins including a PIN and voting instructions.

Town staff will revise the List of Electors from June 7 to June 21. 

You can check if you are on the voter’s list over these dates by contacting Wendy Mills, by email at wmills@townoflunenburg.ca or by phone at 902-634-4410 x 221.

This will be the Town’s second consecutive paperless election. During the advanced voting period, residents without a phone or Internet access can visit Town Hall to cast a vote with assistance from Town staff.

Town Hall will also be open on Election Day from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. for voting.

More information is available on the Town’s Information for Voters webpage.

Lunenburg’s Municipal Election in 2020 achieved a turnout of 64.1 per cent, with 1,243 votes cast by 1,939 eligible voters.

The Town’s 23/24 operating budget has $10,000 for elections.

Councillor Ed Halverson, Board of Trade President Jamie Myra announce bids for Mayor

It is likely residents will vote for one new Councillor as well.

Councillor Ed Halverson announced his intention to run for Mayor in a video published to Facebook on April 13, three days after Risser announced his intention to resign. 

The election date was decided by a vote at a Special Meeting of Council on May 30. Halverson was absent from the meeting, with Acting Mayor Peter Mosher saying Halverson announced a conflict of interest. No other councillors were absent.

Once Halverson would officially file his nomination papers, he would have to resign his seat.

Then the election would be held to fill the Mayor’s vacancy and the new Councillor vacancy.

Jamie Myra, on a leave of absence as President of the Lunenburg Board of Trade, has also announced his intended candidacy for Mayor.

Myra, a Councillor in Lunenburg from 2000-2012 and proprietor of Stan’s Dad and Lad haberdashery on Lincoln St., issued a release on May 26 detailing his motivations.

Halverson, a first-time Councillor elected in 2020, is Chair of the Town’s Audit Committee and a news reporter with Queens County radio station QCCR 99.3 FM.

In his announcement video, Halverson says communication is the largest single issue the town has. 

“People are angry, they’re upset, they feel uninformed, they feel unheard; none of that is good, none of it is good – we need to do better,” he says in the video, saying the Town needs to do better and he will provide better communication.

Myra’s Facebook post announcing his shot at Mayor says he is running “After attending and watching the last number of council meetings and making a presentation at the budget that was basically ignored.”

His release details his history of volunteerism in Lunenburg County and highlights endorsements from locals including former councillor Peter Zwicker and restaurateurs Martin Ruiz Salvador and Adam Bower.

At May’s meeting of Town Council where Council passed the 23/24 operational budget, Myra suggested Council should not pass the proposed budget for 23/24. 

He said he was concerned about spending on new staff salaries and remarked on the Town’s pursuit of residential designs for Blockhouse Hill, saying, “I don’t think if I was sitting at that table I would approve a budget of $175,000 to spend on Blockhouse Hill at this point until you have some public engagement sessions, talk to the people, and see what they want.”

Halverson responded to Myra and other residents who shared concerns with the budget saying, “As our CAO alluded to, there are very big expenditures coming our way. And we’re going to see tax rates increase. That’s what’s happening. We’re going to see the costs of our assessments go up. We want to make sure this town stays affordable. And the only way we can do that in the long term is to ensure we can keep our tax rates low.”

“I don’t see a path forward towards getting what we need to do unless we’re prepared to deal with Blockhouse Hill, at least explore it,” said Halverson. “So I think that’s got to be the way forward. I know the $175,000 is contentious.” Halverson also explained how residents who wanted to talk to him about these issues could reach him directly.

Do you have what it takes to represent Lunenburg?

If you think you ought to be the next Mayor of the Town of Lunenburg, and all of your municipal taxes and liens are in order, nomination papers for Mayor will be accepted July 10-13. 

If a Council seat opens following Halverson’s nomination for Mayor, nomination papers will be accepted for Councillor on July 14, July 17 and July 18.

Nominations can be filed at Town Hall from 8:30AM until 4:30PM. 

You must make an appointment with Kayla Byrne, Returning Officer, to file your nomination papers, by email at kbyrne@townoflunenburg.ca or by phone at 902-634-4410 x 240.

Check out the Town of Lunenburg’s Information for Candidates webpage for more information.

The Barnacle is dedicated to continued special election coverage. Let us know what you want to see more of and tell us how we’re doing. Email us at: editor@thebarnacle.ca


Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *