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Mayor Craig Reflects On First Eastern Charlotte Council Meeting After Local Governance Reform
In this episode of "Your Town Matters", Mayor John Craig reflects on the first ever Eastern Charlotte Council Meeting that took place at Magaguadavic Place in Saint George, New Brunswick on January 18, 2023. This new council is a result of a province-wide amalgamation of local councils.
While speaking with CHCO's Vicky Hogarth, Mayor John Craig says "I've been a Mayor in New Brunswick (formerly of Blacks Harbour and prior to that in Saint Andrews) for about 11 years, and in those 11 years, I think I voted to break a tie once, and I voted twice last night in a tie-breaker vote."
The first tie-breaker split came when Mayor Craig voted in favour of categorizing Eastern Charlotte as a town instead of a rural area.
"We want to be designated as a town for a number of reasons, but ultimately all of the municipalities around us--Saint Andrews and St. Stephen--are remaining as towns," said Craig. "Our municipality has a large population population of 7,700 residents, which is bigger than Saint Andrews and Grand Manan combined. We should be considered a town and not just a rural area."
Mayor Craig's next tie-breaker was when he voted in favour of keeping the name Eastern Charlotte after Councillor Michael Thompson motioned to have the name Coastal Charlotte back on the table for consideration. Coastal Charlotte was originally one of the names being considered in the summer and fall of 2022 that the public voted on but ultimately chose Eastern Charlotte over Coastal Charlotte by 0.3% difference in the votes.
"Councillor Thompson was doing his job, and people in his ward wanted him to bring this concern forward," said Mayor Craig. "I voted to keep the name Eastern Charlotte because, if we make the change now, it's going to put us behind three or four months. That name would have to go back to the province to be accepted, and that's a process in itself. We also already have a logo for Eastern Charlotte, which is another process and a road we don't want to go down again."
Eastern Charlotte Council will meet again on February 15, 2023 at 7:00pm.
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