By Craig Westcott/October 21, 2021
She’s not the first female deputy mayor of Conception Bay South, but Andrea Gosse is the first one in a while, following in the footsteps of former councillor and deputy mayor Sandra Baggs and she is glad someone with two X chromosomes is occupying the second highest position on council again.
Goose beat incumbent Junior Bursey in Ward 2 on election night 711 votes to 615, as well as two other candidates who racked up a little over 300 votes between them.
It was the largest turnout of voters in the ward in some time.
“It was pretty exciting,” Gosse admitted of the vote count election on night. Bursey was a well-liked member of council, who ran a strong campaign. Goose didn’t feel comfortable celebrating until all the votes were counted, including the mail-in ballots and those from the Advance poll, which came in at the end of the night.
“While I was ahead there, it wasn’t huge and I didn’t feel successful until it was all finalized,” she admitted.
Within a week, Gosse was celebrating a second victory, this time as deputy mayor.
“There are no prerequisites for deputy mayor,” Gosse noted. “It doesn’t have to be an incumbent or anything. So, I inquired to the administration. I had an interest in it. There were a couple of others interested. And I just kind of mentioned to all of the other councilors, because it is a vote around the table, that I had an interest in it. The deputy mayor is also chair of finance and I have a background in that, and I just wanted to put my name forward. I kind of said, wherever it lands, I’ll be fine with whoever it is. If It wasn’t me, I’d still be fine with it. But I had an interest in it and I said I would give it a chance.”
In a secret ballot vote, Gosse beat two council veterans for the job – councillor at-large Rex Hillier, who polled the highest of all candidates in the election, aside from Mayor Darrin Bent, and Ward 3 councillor Gerard Tilley. Each of the candidates was given a couple of minutes to address the rest of council before a secret ballot was held.
“The town of CBS elected four women to council this time and I thought that one of us should put our name forward,” Gosse said. “It was appropriate, I thought, considering that 50 per cent of the council was made up of women. And it is an important role and I’m very honoured to be serving as deputy mayor. I feel I can do this job as well as anyone, and I will give it my best effort, for sure.”
Gosse said she is excited by the people elected this term.
“It’s a new group around the table,” said Gosse. “It’s a diverse group and to be honest I think it’s going to be a great group of people to work with. You’ve got a very good mix of experience and backgrounds. You’ve got some older people, you’ve got some younger people, it’s a great mix. I’m very optimistic about the next four years with this particular mixture of people.”
Goose and her husband Tony own Platinum Construction and Andton Homes. They build new homes, subdivisions and do heavy civil work such as road construction and laying water and sewer lines. Their latest development in CBS is the 102 lot subdivision Mountbatten Estates in Foxtrap. Goose thinks her business experience will come in handy as chairperson of council’s finance committee.
The campaign itself also gave her lots to think about and bring to the table.
“I’m pretty honoured, I’m pretty grateful that Ward 2 gave me their vote of confidence,” Gosse said. “I had a lot of great conversations on the campaign trail. People were really receptive to me… There’s no doubt, there’s lots of things on people’s minds and everyone wants to see some change. People want to see some new facilities, people want to see the positive brought back into our community. I love Conception Bay South, I think it’s the best place to live, I’ve lived here my whole life and I plan to give this job everything I have and to do the best that I can.”