We asked the readers of Connecting Albert County what they would like to ask the candidates, and we have picked these two questions from the ones we received.
- COVID has shown us the value of supporting local. What might you do to help attract, encourage or support new businesses in our communities?
- What can be done to meet the needs of seniors in our community?
Four candidates for three Alma Councillor positions:
The candidates, Amanda Rossiter, Susan MacCallum (incumbent), Tiffany Bowron (incumbent) and John S. Ereaux have 200 words (in total) to answer the questions. We invited candidates to provide photographs and offered the opportunity to advertise. The responses are presented in the order in which they were received.
The last year has been difficult for everyone due to Covid-19 and all of the uncertainties that came with it. While it has caused a multitude of difficulties, it has also brought some positives for places like our wonderful Village of Alma. With many travel restrictions put into place, residents of New Brunswick are asked to stay local. For a tourist town like ours that caused a great deal of concerns but it turned out to be a great year for some of our local businesses. People were encouraged to “explore their own backyards” when it came time for family vacations and getaways. For many New Brunswickers that place was Alma.
I believe it’s important to continue supporting and working with our local businesses because their successes as a business are our successes as a village. Having successful businesses in Alma anytime, let alone during a pandemic, is encouraging new businesses to join our area.
I look forward to working with the other councillors and the mayor to keep moving Alma forward in a way that benefits all of our businesses and residents. Alma is a great place to visit but an even better place to live.
The businesses in Alma are an important part of what makes our small, rural village a unique place to live, work, play and visit. To attract new businesses we offer a variety of rental spaces at reasonable prices. We ensure that all businesses have accurate listings on our village website and on the village map in Fundy National Park's Salt & Fir Guide. I personally shop and dine locally and I share my good experiences with friends, neighbours, and guests who stay at our B&B. Last summer I helped with the creation of some advertising and communication pieces for media to get the word out that Alma was a safe travel destination, and council and staff ensured that the public washrooms were open and clean to ease that burden for businesses. I am committed to pitching in where needed to help our businesses weather this pandemic.
Checking up on people by phone; opening our activity centre for safe, indoor walking and during long power outages; and helping with rides for groceries and appointments are all important measures that we have taken and continue to take in Alma to meet some of the needs of our seniors.
- As a member of council during the planning and completion of the Vision Alma Project, we were able to create multiple "incubator" spaces. These spaces provide the opportunity for new businesses to test the success of their business idea here in Alma before making a long-term commitment, essentially a period of incubation, so to speak. We recently completed our newest building which offers more of these types of spaces and I'm excited to have the chance to continue our work to attract new fresh businesses to our village. The added revenue from these spaces considerably aids in taking some of the pressure off our taxpayers, as the revenue is used directly for village operations. If I were to be re-elected, I would continue to actively pursue these examples of economic development.
- With a focus on physical activity and sense of community, I would love to see our activity center being used more to its potential. This last winter the village opened it up for walking and exercise, providing a safe space for our seniors to be physically active and social. Once Covid-19 restrictions relax, I can see this space being used more by our community groups and seniors.
John Ereaux has been a homeowner in Alma for the past 19 years. He has extensive experience as a public servant and was formerly a professional engineer. He is the father of two adult sons and lives with his wife Susan Dean.
Helping Local Businesses:
I support welcoming businesses into our community. I believe we can promote our existing local business, and encourage new businesses, by…
- Enhancing our public infrastructure (e.g. water, sewer, storm water drainage, parking, sidewalks, crosswalks, public washrooms)
- Promoting and facilitating the development of staff accommodation for seasonal workers
- Participating with regional partners in initiatives that bring visitors to our community
- Ensuring a property tax regime that maximizes value for money
- Making the village an attractive place to live, work and visit
- Advocating on behalf of our local businesses to all levels of government
As a caring community, we need to value and support our seniors. I believe we can assist seniors by focusing on...
- Mobility, Accessibility and Safety (e.g. more sidewalks, crosswalks)
- Security (e.g. adequate policing and effective bylaw enforcement such as noise)
- Friendship and social opportunities
- Advocating for our seniors, to all levels of government, and to our regional partners