Mayoral candidates sign up on nomination day
The Town of St George will have to go to the polls on May 9 to elect a new mayor, it was revealed yesterday.
Kenneth Bascome, a former mayor, and George Dowling III, a councillor, both put their names forward for the post on nomination day after Quinell Francis decided to step down from the top job. Mr Dowling said: “I want to continue the good work done by Ms Francis and stay the course to keep the municipality moving forward.”
Mr Bascome, also a former One Bermuda Alliance MP, added: “I believe I had unfinished work from when I left when I was elected to Parliament.
“Since then, I don’t believe they have found any footprint to follow other than the one that Garth Rothwell and I left behind.”
The election is to be held after the Senate rejected amendments to the Municipalities Act that would have turned the two corporations into quangos run by appointed members.
Charles Gosling will continue as Mayor of Hamilton as his re-election was unopposed.
Mr Gosling said: “I told the minister at the end of last year I was looking to retire and asked him not to do anything to motivate me otherwise.
“Unfortunately, their law amending the Municipalities Act ... I cannot let that lie. It’s just so, so wrong. There are a lot of faults the corporation has, we have been working on a lot of them, and I believe with a close relationship with Government, there is a lot we can do together.”
Mr Gosling added he took the lack of opposition as a sign that people were happy with his leadership of the city.
He said: “I will take that as a big thump on the back and see what we can do in the next period of time for Hamilton as a community and Bermuda as a whole.”
The municipal residents election for Hamilton, used to fill four councillor seats, will also be uncontested as only four people put their names forward.
Henry Ming, Roseann Edwards and George Scott will all continue on the city authority and newcomer Jenefer Brimmer will replace Carlton Johnson.
Ms Brimmer said yesterday: “I was asked years ago to participate and I didn’t think the time was right.
“Now the time seems to be right. I would like to do something to help the residents and that’s why I’m running.”
Business ratepayers will have to go to the polls to select four candidates from a slate of five.
John Harvey, Dennis Tucker, Lawrence Scott and Nick Swan, all sitting councillors, will be joined on the ballot by Michael Branco, the chief executive of technology firm Fireminds.
Philip Seaman and Andrew Roberts were uncontested for the two business ratepayers’ councillors seats in St George’s and five people were nominated for the six resident councillor roles.
Elizabeth Christopher, Cyniqua Anderson and Lloyd Van Putten will all return to the corporation, joined by Andrew Smith Jr and Tania Stafford.
Councillors Eakin McLaughlin, Faith Bridges and Jamie Sapford did not put their names forward for re-election.
The new councillors yesterday said they looked forward to the opportunity to improve St George’s.
Ms Stafford said: “I love the town. I appreciate the service that others have given in the past.
“Not that I have the time to give, so it seemed like the perfect thing to stand for.”
Mr Roberts said: “My family have been in St George’s for generations. My grandfathers were past mayors, my uncles were past mayors.
“I have been involved in St George’s Rotary for a while, I am a past president, and I am very interested in the future of the town.”
An extraordinary municipal election will be held to fill the remaining seat within the next two months.