By Mark Squibb | Vol. 32 No. 5 (April 17 2019)
By-election candidate Tony Kelly hopes third time is the charm in bid for council seat
Tony Kelly has thrown his name into the hat in the Town of Paradise’s by-election.
Kelly ran in the 2017 election, scoring 560 votes and finishing 15th out of 16 candidates.
He also ran in 1997, where he says he received roughly a quarter of the votes.
Kelly grew up in the Placentia area and after working on the mainland for several years, returned in 1982, moving to Paradise in 1987, where he and his wife Geraldine raised two children and continue to live today.
“We saw Paradise as a beautiful safe place to live and raise a family, and we certainly had a wonderful family life here,” said Kelly. “In addition, its central location in the metro area is so convenient, and the sense of community has always been excellent.”
Kelly also remembers being struck by the beauty of the town. “It had very nice topography — ponds, and lots of green space— and the location was just ideal,” he said.
Like many longtime residents, he can remember when Paradise wasn’t the busy town it is today.
“To drive through Paradise now and see the growth, and the houses all over the place, and the businesses, the industrial park, the new businesses by Octagon Pond— it’s just fabulous,” said Kelly. “This is the place. We could be a model town.”
Kelly, a certified public health inspector with the provincial government, has post secondary credits that include a Bachelor of Technology (Engineering and Applied Science) from Memorial University and an Occupational Health and Safety certificate from College of the North Atlantic.
“My career as a Health Inspector has exposed me to municipal issues throughout the Burin, Bonavista, and Avalon Peninsulas,” Kelly said. “From Bonavista to Swift Current, to Trepassey to Pouch Cove, and all places in between, I have had experience reviewing and approving municipal capital works projects and dealing with the environmental health needs of all members of society, from children to youth, and from adults to seniors.”
Over the years, Kelly has volunteered with the Paradise School Bus Safety Committee, Ride for Sight, was the Occupational Health and Safety committee co-chair, and a member of the Emergency Measures committee.
He also said that he has a wide range of municipal experience.
“Over the past 32 years I have helped encourage advances in our Town of Paradise through letter writing, and consultation with council,” he explained. “Some of the issues which I successfully brought forward are: Improved recreation facilities, walking trails, metro bus, dust control, sidewalk and road repair, open air burning regulations; and I wrote to council opposing PCB storage and supporting Mayor (Dianne) Whelan’s council opposition to amalgamation.
“I believe the concepts of regional cooperation, cost – sharing, and the development of a greener transportation system needs to be explored,” Kelly added. “I believe in fair, reasonable taxation. I believe in our professional civic staff. I believe in our civic pride as a community that is developing a town that is exemplary. However, there are still items which need to be addressed, such as road repairs, completion of water and sewer servicing, improved access routes, addition of a swimming pool, and development of more resources for seniors, to name a few. I want to do something good for people, and I figure the best thing is to serve my community that way… you’re a conduit for the community to make the community what the people what it to be.”