While one Halifax Regional councillor is preparing to give up his seat at City Hall, another says “exciting” initiatives on the horizon are making him think twice about bowing out.
After a lengthy tenure, Coun. Gary Meade (Hammonds Plains-St. Margarets) has decided not to run for re-election in October.
Meade, 61, who served as councillor for the pre-amalgamation District 1, and has occupied his current post since 2000, has witnessed a population explosion in his area, which he says has resulted in a unique set of challenges.
“There’s talk about closing schools in Halifax and Dartmouth area because of population going down,” he said. “We’re looking at, in the schools out here, probably getting about 200 new kids per year.”
The boom has meant more traffic and higher assessment rates. After some controversy, the city is currently finalizing plans to widen Hammonds Plains Road.
“I tell people, if you don’t like traffic, don’t move there,” Meade says.
He says he’s looking forward to spending winters in Florida, but he’ll miss interacting with his constituents, who never hesitate to approach him.
“I go out to the Superstore, I go in to get a quart of milk, and it takes me an hour,” he says.
But six terms may not be enough for Lower Sackville Coun. Bob Harvey.
“The challenge is still there, I love the work and there’s lots of exciting things coming along,” said Harvey, citing the proposed downtown design plan, the central public library and tax reform.
Harvey, 63, was planning on this term being his last to spend more time with his family, but at this point, he says he’s “undecided.”
He says he’ll make up his mind during his annual trip to Prince Edward Island in July.
“Emotionally, it’s very difficult to make the decision one way or another,” he said.