Delighted Dowling elected Mayor of St George
George Dowling III has been elected Mayor of St George beating Kenneth Bascome by 234 votes last night.
The announcement was welcomed with loud applause, as the 41-year-old former town councillor earned 363 votes to the veteran politician's 129 votes. Four hundred and ninety-two votes were cast out of 1,388 eligible voters.
Speaking at Penno's Wharf, a beaming Mr Dowling pledged he would stand strong for the people of St George regardless of the Bermuda Government's attempts to replace the island's two municipalities with quangos. He said: “Whether Government takes over or not we are still required to be good trustees of our town.”
Mr Dowling said that finalising a town plan is his first priority, and could take between three and four months to complete and said that he hoped to work with the Government on revenue-raising ideas.
“There are a few MPs in the crowd tonight so I hope we can network and come to a resolution. We need to generate dynamic revenue sources for our town,” he said. “Cruise ships are always a good idea to have in our town.”
Mr Dowling continued: “I hope that we can get into a position where we are courting smaller cruise ships, we used to have two cruise ships and they used to stay here three to four days at a time, and St George's was booming. If we can get to that space, we will be in a good position to do whatever we need to do going forward.”
Philip Seaman and Andrew Roberts stood uncontested for the two business ratepayers' councillor seats in St George.
Returning unchallenged to resident councillor roles are Elizabeth Christopher, Cyniqua Anderson and Lloyd Van Putten. They will be joined by Andrew Smith Jr and Tania Stafford.
The vacant sixth seat will be filled after an extraordinary municipal election to be held within the next two months.
Mr Dowling said he was proud of the work he did overseeing the docks and ensuring that parking was available at Hunter's Wharf.
His family business, Dowling Marine, is based on the waterfront.
He said added: “A police station would be good for the town and I will speak with the Commissioner of Police.
“I have spoken to him previously at the Peppercorn Ceremony and he invited me to meet with him.
“We are also going to continue to support planning with the Unesco World Heritage Site Management Plan and then we will look to take over the management of the site.”
Mr Bascome, a former mayor who stepped down to become a One Bermuda Alliance MP, said in an interview this week that a police station would be a priority.
He also said that he wanted to improve Duke of York Street as well as late night transport to the town.
Mr Bascome said last night: “Remember that I am a St Georgian and I will assist wherever it is possible. I will always be in the mix.”
Quinell Francis, who endorsed Mr Dowling, recently announced she was to step down as mayor to focus on her surveying business.
Ms Francis, who headed up the Corporation of St George for four years, said she would be willing to sit on any committee as a resident.
In March, the Government voted in favour of reforming the municipalities by turning them into unelected quangos but senators blocked the move.