Sackville voters have given overwhelming support to incumbent town councillors and a fairly narrow 209 vote mayoralty victory to Councillor Shawn Mesheau over Acting Mayor Ron Aiken.
The re-election of Councillors Andrew Black, Allison Butcher, Mike Tower, Bruce Phinney and Bill Evans suggests that a majority of voters were satisfied with the work of the outgoing council in spite of controversies over drive-thrus, flood control, an abattoir in the industrial park and turmoil in the fire department.
The three remaining council seats were won by Mt. A. building maintenance manager Matt Estabrooks, who scored an impressive, third-place finish, while motor vehicle officer Ken Hicks and environmental consultant Sabine Dietz came 7th and 8th respectively.
The results of the 2021 municipal election could be interpreted as solid support for the previous council’s major project, the $8.3 million flood control project that saw reconstruction of Lorne Street and the digging of a 40,000 cubic metre pond south of St. James.
The town has already applied for a $5.2 million third phase that would include two additional freshwater retention ponds, one in the old quarry near Mount Allison and another behind the community gardens.
Once again, the town’s share of Phase III would be 25% or about $1.3 million with the federal and provincial governments paying the rest.
However, the discovery of contaminated soil on the site of the first flood control pond with associated clean-up costs totalling more than $500,000 led to noisy dissent from Councillor Bruce Phinney.
Judging from Phinney’s showing in the 2021 election, slightly ahead of his arch rival Bill Evans, a majority of voters want him to continue in his role of maverick speaking truth to the powers-that-be at town hall.
Pondville might be a more appropriate nickname for the town as we are ‘moving forward’ in to this new age of enlightened environmental ascension.