GUYSBOROUGH: After falling to the incumbent by one vote in 2016, Mary Germaine Desmond defeated Sheila Pelly by 26 votes to represent district 2 for the Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG).
Desmond walked away with 73 votes in comparison to Pelly’s 47.
“People wanted change; they took the first step and voted for change,” Desmond told The Reporter. “They wanted a voice at the table; where decisions are made. I will be their voice at the table.”
The retired nurse, who is now a community activist – on numerous boards and organizations tackling issues in health, education, environment, food security, poverty, and social isolation – had been doing work in the community similar to the work of a councillor. She said it was members from the community who approached her and asked her to run.
“I took the challenge,” she said. “I look forward to working as a team player with my fellow councillors to bring a strong voice forward on issues from my district.”
As for the concerns and issues Desmond is hoping to address, she compares it to being like a little kid with a long Christmas list as there are many major concerns and needs that could be categorized under poverty, food insecurity and social isolation.
During the campaign, she also heard about road conditions, housing, ER closures, and land title resolutions.
“I know my community and community members. I am committed and dedicated,” Desmond said. “I will bring a positive and hopeful attitude to the table.”
Four other districts across the MODG featured contests, with all four incumbents being re-elected.
In district 3, incumbent Neil DeCoff garnered 249 votes, defeating Elton MacPherson who received 91 votes.
Incumbent Janet Peitzsche dominated in district 5 after receiving 81 per cent, or 307 votes, in comparison to Lynette Newell’s 71.
Current Warden Vernon Pitts, who received 208 votes, fended off Susan Cashin’s 159 to remain the representative for district 6.
In the only other contested race, which was in district 8, saw incumbent Fin Armsworthy walk away with 242 votes over Silva Rehel’s 97 votes.
The elected councillors will join the acclaimed political newcomer Paul Long (district 1), incumbents Dave Hanhams (district 4) and Rickey McLaren (district 7).
Miles MacDonald, who formally represented district 1, was the only incumbent councillor to not re-offer in the municiapl election.
Of the eligible voters, the turnout in MODG was approximately 67 per cent, an increase of 10 per cent compared to 57 per cent in 2016.