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Mayoral challenger new to politics

September 24, 2014   ·   0 Comments

Frank E. Hunt Jr. admits he has no political experience as a challenger for the Mayor’s job in the upcoming municipal election, but says he will draw on his “vast employment experience as a role leader willing to tear things down to their basic function to look for savings or government grants that the town may be able to tap into.” Grants and cost analysis are examples of tasks generally handled by Town staff experts to be reviewed by the Mayor and Council; Mr. Hunt’s challenge, should he be elected, will be to quickly assimilate his role as Mayor in the day to day functionality of an established municipal structure and negotiate the maze of modus operandi that governs it.
Born in Toronto and raised in Bradford, Mr. Hunt now lives in Shelburne where he and his wife Krista are raising their ten year old son. Early in his career he helped to develop the family HVAC and Plumbing business and race horse farms, where he says he acquired many skills “watching and learning.” “When my family had race horses, I was very involved with the different politicians that were race horse owners. He has fond memories as a horse groomer/ trainer and of a Queen’s Plate barbeque for horsemen where he “had the privilege of dinning with Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson” who attended the event.
Later he and his wife “did a brief stint managing an exotic pet farm,” selling fish products and hosting tour groups to teach school children “ecology on each of the specific species.” It was during this time, Hunt says he learned to apply for Provincial and Federal grants to “enhance the building of the business.” Unfortunately a “rash of storms in 1997 saw widespread damage and power outages,” Hunt relayed, “…forcing us to close it.”
Mr. Hunt then returned to school to acquire his Gas Tec II License and went to work for Consumers Gas/Direct Energy where he became warehouse manager handling stocking, warranty, equipment, and budget issues. After a “slight stroke” in 2005, Mr. Hunt moved to a less stressful position with a geothermal heat pump company until 2008 when he left to tend to his wife who was seriously injured in a horse accident. In 2010, he started a recycling-scrap metal collecting company in Shelburne, where he says he deals “with the public one on one and companies, government owned and otherwise, to break down the product and maximize income for the company.”
Below are Mr. Hunt’s responses to questions from the Free Press.
What specific skills do you bring to the position of Mayor?
“Confident Communication skills • Budget Planning • Maximizing Savings • Affordable Solutions • Applications for Federal, Provincial, Municipal, Funding • Trouble shooting • Engineering and Design (footings and Pouring Concrete) • Plumbing and Heating • Ground erosion • Graph analysis”
“Personal studies: Canadian Constitution • Freedom and Rights Act • Municipal law • Provincial law • Federal law • Microsoft word • Excel”
What different community organizations do you belong to and volunteer for?
“I volunteer my time to fix appliances and give these and other things townsfolk would need free of charge. I volunteered my hours as a member of Primrose United Church by cleaning the church and helping to dig up the mediation garden, laid the brick pathways, planted some trees, and gave free advice on their heating system. I have been on the Executive Committee and a coach for Shelburne Soccer for one year.”
What do you see as the three biggest challenges the Town will face in the next term? How will you deal with these challenges?
1. “Traffic congestion: look to create a bypass or load restriction. I would look to the Provincial or Federal government for grants to help with the costs of these improvements. Offer viable solutions to a bypass, for example use the 17th Side Road as a by pass as it already exists. Work with builders, industries and businesses alike to solve financial short comings. Obviously a tax increase would be the last resort solution.”
2. “Accessibility for persons with disabilities and seniors. Work with the accessibility committees to form a credible action plan to promote Shelburne to recruit Health specialist to the area, maybe housing them in the vacant day care centre on First Street. Help interested people who want to start a cab company get licensed in town and take a small percentage of income back to eventually finance transit or a car pool parking lot.”
3. “Infrastructure: Schools, Waste water, Freshwater, Curbs, Sidewalks and Roads. Work with existing municipalities to get another well dug. Work with school boards to attract them to build schools based on population expectations. Go after province to help achieve these goals.”
If you had a wish list for the Town – what would be at the top of it?
“1. Transit 2. Accessibility for seniors and persons with disabilities 3. Attract more health specialists 4. Catholic or French emersion 5. Create a by – pass or load restriction.”
Residents will be able to see candidates for the Town of Shelburne in action at the all-candidate debates for the 2014 Municipal elections at Grace Tipling Hall, 203 Main Street East, in Shelburne at 7pm on Wednesday, October 8th. Frank E. Hunt Jr. reports he “will be in attendance on Oct 8th” and is “actually looking forward to the debate.” From what the voters have been telling him, he says, “this may be the best turnout ever by the townspeople.”

By Marni Walsh

 

         

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