Andrew Black says after six years on Sackville Town Council, he’s ready to take the plunge and run for mayor of the new Town of Tantramar in the municipal elections on November 28.
“I just recently got elected as president of UMNB, the Union of Municipalities of New Brunswick and for the last year working with that organization and my work on council, my love of local government and representation has just expanded to the nth degree,” Black said today during an interview at his home in Middle Sackville.
“I thought this would be the next logical step to represent the Town of Tantramar going into a new opportunity within our community as mayor.”
Black, who is currently serving as Sackville’s deputy mayor, explains that for him, local government is the most important level of government.
“People who live within communities have a direct impact on government that affects them directly — everything from streets to sewers to recreation activities, to you name it,” he says.
“The province and the feds can’t really do that, they do it at a high degree, whereas local government is where we can make significant changes that impact people’s lives in a wonderful way.”
Black says his role as mayor would be to gather information and use it to bring councillors together while representing the new town’s interests on the regional service commission and taking a firm stand when it’s needed with the province.
He adds that he’s proud of Sackville’s achievements during his time on council such as getting approval for the $14 million cost-shared Lorne St. flood control project; establishing a climate change advisory committee; providing sports subsidies to support families as well as his own work with a community group on affordable housing.
Black says he’s also proud of his work with Fort Folly and the Regional Chief of First Nations in New Brunswick to help draft two resolutions that Sackville Town Council passed and that were also approved by the UMNB.
“One of those was getting Indigenous languages on municipal voting ballots and another one was to try to get the government to support Truth and Reconciliation Day,” he says.
“I personally worked on those. I feel very proud of that and just recently the provincial government finally recognized Truth and Reconciliation Day, so I’d like to feel that I had a direct responsibility in that.”
Black says that as mayor, he would continue to build on co-operation with Fort Folly while reinforcing the strong community ties that already exist across the Tantramar Region in places such as Midgic, Point de Bute and Rockport.
“It’s all the same community. The kids who live around here, they go to the same high school, we shop the same local businesses, we take in events in the same places,” he says.
“It is a community, it always has been, it’s just been separated by non-existent borders and now we have this opportunity to come together and with a new council, a new mayor, to talk about the…issues and concerns that bring us together.”
Flexible work hours
Black, who works from his home office ordering and co-ordinating shipments for a food services company that supplies fast food restaurants and convenience stores, says his flexible work hours would give him the time he needs to do both the mayor’s job and his own.
“Plus, I don’t sleep a lot,” he says with a laugh. “I work in the wee hours of the morning, I work late at night [and] I’m very, very confident that I would be able to do the job for the Town of Tantramar.”
Asked if he would commit to releasing a list of donors and the amounts they gave after the election, Black says yes.
“I believe in transparency, I think it’s important to do that,” he adds.
“So, if I do have any donors, I would absolutely disclose that information.”
To read the news release announcing Andrew Black’s candidacy, click here.
Note to readers: So far, the other contestant in the Tantramar mayoralty race is Shawn Mesheau who currently serves as Sackville’s mayor. Warktimes asked to interview Mesheau on Saturday after he had a chance to talk to people at his open house (2 to 4 p.m.) at St. Ann’s Church in Westcock. He agreed to an interview, “if I have time,” when I asked him at 2:20 p.m., but after he emerged from the church hall an hour and 40 minutes later as his open house ended, he claimed he did not know I had been waiting even though one of his campaign managers had seen me sitting on a bench in the hallway. “Sorry Bruce, I didn’t know you were still here and I have to see people in Midgic. Sorry,” he said as he hurried away. Mesheau’s open house was sparsely attended. In that hour and 40-minute period, I saw only one person arrive to see him.
Black has no track record of positive economic growth in our community. He votes to raise taxes because he knows exceptionally little about successful business or he’d be more financially successful himself. Instead he hopes taxpayers will subsidize his own personal annual revenue by using hot words and minority groups to gain votes and get elected again into office.
Hard truths that don’t do our citizens any favors.
Christian.It is one thing to offer well reasoned political discourse about issues, however you have stepped far across that line with your comment “he knows exceptionally little about successful business or he’d be more financially successful himself”. That is an elitist, distasteful comment unless you are privy to Mr. Black’s financial records. I would suggest a public apology to Mr. Black is in order and stick to debating issues not personal attacks and besmirching character.
Christian. Other than impeccable message discipline, it is really hard to point to anything significant the incumbent has done on this, or any file for that matter. Mr. Black at least puts himself out there to improve our community.
As an aside Christian, your implication that running a successfull business in Sackville equates to personal wealth made me laugh so hard that I’m still chuckling. So thanks for that…
I was on the Board of Directors of Union of Municipalities of New Brunswick (UMNB) back in the early 2000s and it was easier to do that as a regular councillor, from a time perspective. Plus the key to the success of this first Tantramar Council is to make the transition to the new municipality smooth (best case), or to clean up the big mess the NB gov’t will leave (more likely circumstance. Either way that will be a lot of work.)
Your “Note to Readers” certainly leaves no doubt about who you will cast your own vote for, Bruce! “ Impartial” journalism? 😂 I guess that’s not a thing anymore.
Reply from Bruce Wark: Thanks for your comment. If there are two candidates in an election (at least so far), readers may ask why one receives coverage and not the other. I felt I needed to explain that I made every effort to interview both.
Yes, so perhaps this would warrant a neutral comment such as, “At the time of publication, Candidate Mesheau had not yet confirmed an appointment time in response to my request for an interview. I look forward to the opportunity to speak with him at his earliest opportunity.”
Elizabeth, that sure reads nicely to be sure, but it doesn’t come close to saying what actually happened. Yes, I know, journalists are reluctant to report how the sausages actually get made when it comes to their own reporting. Better to fudge things and be polite under the protective cover of “neutrality.” But after 55 years, I’m finally learning to report the truth as best I can.
Hi Elizabeth, from your comment I take it that you have not been a follower of Wark Times for very long – otherwise you would be aware of Bruce’s efforts to report news stories fairly and objectively – no doubt that’s what he taught his students in his journalism classes. Your insinuation that he is supporting Andrew Black simply because he explained in his article interviewing Andrew Black why he was unable to get an interview with the other candidate, Shawn Mesheau, indicates that you haven’t been following town council meetings very closely.
Andrew Black was one of the councillors who supported (or at least did not speak against) CAO Burke’s attempt at muzzling the press by proposing to make a revision to a town by-law that would give the town the ability to define who and who is not a journalist and thus be able to restrict some people from asking questions of interest to Sackville residents at council meetings. Several other councillors and members of the public rightly objected to this by-law revision and it did not proceed. If it had, Bruce Wark would likely have not been recognized as a member of the press at town council meetings. Because of this, I highly doubt that Bruce was endorsing Andrew Black for mayor when he was describing the problems he had trying to interview the other candidate. You should be grateful to Bruce (and CHMA) for keeping Sackville residents up to date on what’s happening with our town government instead of accusing him of biased reporting.
As an aside, we now have another candidate, Bonnie Swift, running for mayor. You can find her facebook page with her impressive bio and a link to her detailed and comprehensive election platform at : https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100087397800756
I would never vote for someone who walks off the jobs in the middle of hiring one of the most important positions for our Town. He seems too immature for this role…This oh I don’t like this, its not going my way, I quit persona, is not someone we need. He also has no clue about climate issues either, even though he campaigns on it. I mean you voted for a plastic plant. Plastic manufacturing is one of the biggest greenhouses emitting industries out there, it is actually now surpassing coal. All those hydrocarbons to make it and produce it does not grow on trees. Oh yeah then there are the trees, the 18 acres of mature forest they allowed clear cut during the Migratory Bird Season. That site was in zone C3 for migratory regulated under a Federal act to protect migratory birds. Not that I am a big climate change person, I am not, but I’d rather have someone who was honest about it. It’s the “climate hypocrisy” you see on this council that is daunting. Climate change, when does it matter? It seems when some special interest groups have an opportunity to milk the town out of taxpayer money, not when there is a real potential issue that should be investigated. This council never asked one question about the greenhouse emissions of an 18 acre plastic plant, not one, and its shocking when they all harp on about climate change.
I will vote for Andrew Black because he MIGHT get the Tantramar Skate Park Project built for the youth of this region who asked the old group including Mesheau in 2013 and were completely ignored back then…. maybe Black will get this venue built. Good luck to both guys, you have to have thick skin and name brand recognition around here – should be a good race.
Well, we’re off to the races. Congrats to all candidates who’ve offered and good luck. In agreement with a poster above, I too have concerns regarding Candidate Black and his (mis)handling of his participation on the committee to hire the new CAO. He quit because he believed the process was flawed (and the outcome), how if he is elected Mayor, does he propose to work effectively with this CAO? I think that’s a valid question and I look forward to his clear, public response.