By Mark Squibb/September 2, 2021
Larry Vaters says he will be a fresh voice for the people of Paradise, if he’s elected.
“Running at a municipal level is something that I’ve been considering for a little while, and this year I decided to put my name in the hat,” said the council candidate. “I believe I can make a difference.”
Vater’s said that if elected, opening up the channels of communication between residents and council would be one of his key goals.
“I really feel that we need to have more mechanisms in place so that all residents can be informed,” said Vaters. “That includes things like developing and implementing a community engagement plan, so that the Town can more effectively communicate with the people of the town, with community organizations, and with businesses. I feel that there can be improvements made to decision making and public confidence, and that can be achieved through citizen engagement, by having people getting involved and having their viewpoints heard.”
He said this is also something he’s hearing time and again on the campaign trail, adding that while folks at the door have individual issues, such as sidewalks, noise pollution access to programing, and the need for a high school, the need overall is a change in how residents are engaged and informed.
“Largely what I’m hearing, and part of why I’m running, with my slogan being ‘A Fresh Voice for Paradise,’ is built upon that premise, the need to advocate for the people of the Town and to ensure that they have ample opportunity to ensure that their voices are heard and their thoughts and ideas are put forward. And that’s why I’m running.”
Vaters graduated from Memorial University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Arts (French major) degrees. He also completed a certificate program in human resource management, public sector leadership and management development and social media marketing. His background in communication, said Vaters, would be a good fit at the council table.
Vaters said safety concerns are another major part of his platform. There are still too many safety issues, especially in and around school zones and play areas, and he would like to see more sidewalks and traffic calming measures implemented, he said.
“There’s still far too much speeding near our schools, and I’d like to bring together representatives from our government, school boards, school councils, and police, and the insurance industry, to identify more effective ways to curb this activity,” he said.
Vaters also highlighted the need to develop more recreation programs and facilities for young families, recognize volunteers and their contributions, work closely with seniors on senior’s programming, and facilitate business attraction and retention.
Originally from the Burin Peninsula community of Parker’s Cove, Vaters moved to Paradise about 20 years ago. He has been a volunteer with the Paradise Soccer Club, serving in multiple roles over the years. He also chaired the SunSplash Youth Soccer Tournament. Vaters has also volunteered with a number of boards and committees. He joined Canadian Parents for French as the first provincial executive director and served in that role until 2006. Currently, he is the president.
Vaters works as a supervisor for the Canadian Coast Guard’s website, and for the last 15 years has worked in communications, media relations, and web management.
“I believe that a town councillor is a leader, someone that people can call upon when needed, whether that’s to find a government contact or set up a meeting, to help with an application, even to offer guidance or advice, or just someone to hear their concerns,” said Vater. “I will be serving on council with their interest in mind. I’m an honest individual with a great sense of integrity, and I really believe that cooperation, collaboration, and partnership is a recipe for success.”