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Digby Mayor Ben Cleveland re-elected; two returning and two new faces to council – Cape Breton Put up

DIGBY, N.S. —

There will be some new faces and familiar faces around the Town of Digby council table now that the 2020 municipal election is over.

One thing they have is common is they are all men.

One familiar face returning is Ben Cleveland, who was re-elected mayor of Digby in a two-person race with Maureen Hattie. Cleveland captured 468 votes, with Hattie receiving 239.

This is Cleveland’s fourth term as mayor. In the last election in 2016 he was acclaimed.

Voters elected four councillors in the race. Eight people had run for a council position. Joining Cleveland around the council table as councillors are the two incumbents that ran and two other newcomers to the upcoming term.

The Oct. 17 unofficial election results were as follows:

Mayor’s race

Ben CLEVELAND 468 (elected)

Maureen HATTIE 239

Councillor’s race

Mike BARTLETT 439 (elected) (incumbent)

Peter TURNBULL 423 (elected) (incumbent)

William MCCORMICK 371 (elected)

Paul SAULNIER 290 (elected)

Saskia GEERTS 278

Vicki OIKLE 224

Maritza ADAMS 220

Henry WIELINGA 114

In a candidate bio Q&A that Cleveland had participated in on Saltwire.com during the campaign, he had stated, while talking about his decision to reoffer, “I have always been proud of this community. We were once the recipient of the Community Spirit Award by the province of Nova Scotia’s Community Cultures because of our active volunteer base – whether it is one person or a group of hundreds who organize our festivals – which has led to so many great things happening here.”

“But Digby does have all the same challenges as other communities; we need good quality housing, health care, and work in becoming a truly inclusive and diverse town. Working together we can overcome those challenges. I want to be part of that.”

Cleveland recently included a post on Facebook about what the role of a mayor is. He spoke of the behind-the-scenes work that takes place, such as working municipal staff in the development of policy and position papers; meeting with representatives of all levels of government; and meeting with local businesspeople, possible investors, members of the local community, potential doctors, etc. He also said, “As with any visible role there is always a downside to such a public position, being verbally and physically threatened is not uncommon, but having the ability to listen, understand where that level of frustration is coming from is an ability one needs as a leader in the community.”

In April of this year Digby’s Deputy Mayor Jean Brittain passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer. She had served on town council for 20 years.

Another incumbent also did not appear on the ballot, that was Danny Harvieux who had been a councillor.

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