Long term councillor Clarke and newcomer Smith earn top spots in Bishop's Cove
Although Josiah Clarke says he was not anticipating being offered the position, the long-term Bishop's Cove councillor has decided to take on the role of mayor in the town.
At 77 years old, Clarke will take over for previous mayor Lori Ann King, who held the position for eight years.
“I would have preferred a young person to take the job,” he admits to The Compass in a phone interview today (Sept. 3) — the day after the council’s first meeting.
All seven nominees will lead the town, continuing the trend of acclamations since the town was incorporated in the late 1960s. The previous council only had five members.
King will still sit on council, but has decided to resign her post. She acknowledges she has a young family and one of her children is beginning school this year.
The only councillor that has not returned is Deputy Mayor Leslie Jones. He will not be on the ballot due to health reasons.
Clarke has been on council “off and on” since the beginning but never in a leading role. He does say he is proud of what the entire council has accomplished over the years.
“We are probably one of the only communities in the area that can say we are financially sound,” Clark explains. “We don’t owe any money.”
Gary Smith, a newcomer to council who will be 54 this month, has stepped up to the plate to replace Jones as deputy mayor.
“I originally got involved to ensure we had enough (council members,)” Smith says. “So I’m just getting my feet wet.”
After the first meeting, there are still no definitive plans for the town in the works. They will be making more decisions as the time goes on.
“We won’t be putting the town in any big amount of debt,” Clarke explains. “That’s our number one priority.”
“One thing I want the residents (of Bishop’s Cove) to know is we’re available,” Smith adds. “If they have any issues, we’re readily accessible.”
Others on the council this term are Ken Smith (incumbent), Marina Smith (incumbent), Marion Smith and Diane Jones.