St. Joseph Islander Review

Interview: Barry Elliott and Why He Is Running for Mayor of St. Joseph Township

Monday September 19

Barry Elliott Takes off the Gloves

This is part three of my three part interview series with the mayoral candidates for St. Joseph Township Election 2022. Below is my Q & A I recently had with Mr. Elliott. Don’t forget to vote on or before October 24. 

1) Has your tenure on council always been a platform to eventually run for the position of mayor? If so, why did you chose now to throw your hat in the race?                                                                                                       

My tenure on council was never meant to lead to a run for the position of mayor.When I retired from working for the twp for 28 years, much of it spent running the villages water and sewage systems, I wished to continue to help out and I felt that my experience would be a great asset on council. I decided that I really needed to run for mayor and in so play a greater role in the twp.

2) What areas do you believe if you were elected; would be areas that you have seen needing to be improved over the years in St Joseph Township?
I believe that some of the docks and trails in the outlying areas need to be improved, complete the paving of the main roads as the days of dust and mud roads should be over. I would try to speed up and improve the services that people ask for and I would also like to see an increase in the activities for the residents in the winter months.
3) If elected; what would you tell the voters the biggest changes would be after 4 years in office?
I would like to tell them that they would have been told the truth on all points , whether that is what they really wanted to hear or not. I would want the faith that was once placed in elected officials restored. This would hardly be a change but I wish this island as a whole to remain as one of the best places to visit and the best place to live and raise a family. 


4) The two opponents you face in  Kathryn Henshell and Jody Wildman have strengths that are obvious. One owns or runs many commercial/residential  business etc in the area and the latter has decades of experience in the chair you are trying to sit in. What do you believe your key asset is regarding what you can bring to the table that the aforementioned cannot?

I have lived here all my life. I have ran a very efficient , large cow calf operation for 40 plus years, ran the water and sewer system in the village for 28 years; this included the keeping within and setting the budget, being on call 24 /7 and interacting with the users when they had a problem or question. I think I bring more experience and honesty to the job than either one of them.

5) From what I have been told (I am new the Island) this area is pretty much a seasonal community where most of the revenue is made during the summer months. What would you do to try and address that without disrupting the local pace?

On this I am at a loss; we have no industry to try and carry this along . We do have logging that employs some, the hay days of the snow machines are passing due to the warmer winters. This seems to just leave the improving of the trails and touristy type activities that would bring more people here in the off seasons and make more jobs in the hospitality industry. There are a large number of people who have came here, built homes thus creating good jobs, shopping in the stores, joined in the community and in this helped the economy. We need to be very careful that we do not destroy what we wish to improve. At present there is an increase in younger people with children that will help the preservation of the local schooland the jobs that go with supporting young families.

6) Finally, what has the feedback been from the residents that you know… following your announcement to run?

The feedback that I received from the residents of this twp. has been just plain great. Offers of help if I need it is given at almost every home I have visited. I find it humbling to think that so many people put their faith in me and I can assure them that I will not let them down.

tomorrows topic.....the Power of 528


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