Danny MacGillivray, executive director with CHAD Transit, is a lifelong resident of Stellarton. He was business manager at the YMCA of Pictou County and acting CEO for one year, and was also the founding chairperson of the Pictou County Fuel Fund.
What are the main issues facing Stellarton?
The biggest issue facing Stellarton is our water supply. The water levels in the East River are dropping and our water requires extensive chlorination. Just last week the town was under a boil order for several days.
Another important issue is the Albion Business Park. It was a wise investment by previous councils and we need to make sure we fully utilize this asset by attracting new business to the park. There are several business-ready lots in the park, we need to fill them up.
What is your plan of action to deal with these issues?
Since I was a child, water quality has been an issue in Stellarton. It is not a problem that will be solved overnight, it is an issue that requires planning and hard work. Council needs to establish water as a priority; working diligently with staff and citizens towards a long-term solution. All options available to the town need to be determined, and we then move forward in the best interests of our citizens.
The Town of Stellarton has done a great job with the infrastructure in the Albion Business Park. Now is the time to go out and sell the park to potential businesses. It is a team effort of mayor, council, staff and real estate agents to recruit new clients. The focus should be on attracting existing businesses from outside Pictou County, and any new start-up business.
How does the town move forward from the failed amalgamation? Keep the status quo or do some type of changes need to be made?
I was a public “NO” during the MOU campaign. I received a lot of negative feedback for publicly airing my position, but I felt strongly the MOU was a bad deal for Stellarton. I stood up for what was best for Stellarton then, and will continue to do so in the future.
That being said, I do believe we are stronger when we co-operate. My idea is to have monthly mayor/warden meetings, so we can all get to know each other and talk about areas we can save money – no talk of amalgamation, just discussion on areas we can work together to realize efficiencies. We need to build on existing agreements like the Stellarton/Westville policing arrangement.
What would you like to say to the voters of Stellarton?
My professional career in the non-profit charitable sector of Pictou County has demonstrated my leadership abilities. Complementing those leadership abilities is a strong financial management skill set, which started with my Bachelor of Business Administration from St. FX University. I am a community-minded person with the skill sets needed to be an effective mayor for the people of Stellarton.
My goals as mayor also include leading the most open and transparent municipal council possible – live streaming council meetings on the Internet and publishing important town documents on the town’s website; initiating an infrastructure review and engaging residential and commercial ratepayers to participate in the process; being a consensus builder, working with other municipalities to deliver quality services to Stellarton residents at the lowest possible cost.