Snook credits wife, family with election win
© Derek Montague photo
Jamie Snook, with wife, Holly, and sons Jonah and Jaiden, were quite pleased, to say the least, when Jamie was declared the winner of the mayoral contest in the Happy Valley-Goose Bay municipal election on Tuesday evening. Snook handily defeated his rival, former mayor and MHA, John Hickey.
It was a long campaign, but one that Jamie Snook could not be happier with.
The Happy Valley-Goose Bay man was elected as mayor in the first municipal mayoral race the community has seen in a dozen years.
Snook handily defeated his lone competitor — former mayor and MHA and Cabinet Minister, John Hickey — by nearly 1,000 votes on Tuesday. (See related story ”Out with the old” on Page A3 with all results).
Snook decided to watch the results come in at the Town Hall with several other candidates.
“I was also there with some amazing volunteers, supporters, family, my two sons Jonah and Jaiden, and my wife, Holly, who was the backbone of this success,” said Jamie the day after the election. “I am so ineffective without her, it is a little embarrassing to admit!”
After his landslide victory, Snook had a good night’s rest, and wasn’t fully convinced he had won.
“It was a surreal experience and this morning (Wednesday) I went up to A&W to see if it was actually for real and they folks up there confirmed that it was,” laughed Snook. “Reading all the messages (on Facebook) has been emotional and I'm just determined to not let anyone down.”
Snook noted the new council — which includes all new councillors — will be sworn in within 14 days of the election. Mandatory training for Snook and the new councillors — including Bert Pomeroy, Tony Chubbs, Cora Hamel Pardy, Jackie Compton Hobbs, Tanya Michelin, and Shannon Tobin — will take place in Happy Valley-Goose Bay in the coming weeks.
Snook said his “first and number one issues” will be orientation, team building, and getting “our own house in order.”
“This new council has to get off on the right foot and after that, when I look at how much they have already accomplished in their lives, I think the sky is the limit,” he said.
With regards to how he will tackle a full-time job, a full-time family and now his new duties as a town mayor, Snook said it is all about finding a balance.
“This whole summer has been about balance,” he said. “My family and I had a great summer; at work, we had a very successful research season; everyone saw the level of effort I put into the municipal campaign; I ran one marathon already this year and planning another one in October. So, in time, people are going to trust that I got this under control.”
Snook said he is very grateful and humbled by the trust that people have shown in him.
“It is an unbelievable experience. As a community we all have things to learn, none of us get a free ride, and we all want to have fun along the way. I congratulated the councillors for rolling up their sleeves, speaking to the people, and doing things in their own way. They are amongst equals and the community is expecting great things from each of them.”
Newly elected councilor Bert Pomeroy is looking forward to his first term in the council chambers.
He unsuccessfully ran for a lone seat in a by-election a few years ago, which he attributed to low interest and low voter turnout.
This time, however, things are looking much different, as he will have a seat in the council chambers.
“I wasn’t nervous, but I was relieved when the numbers started coming in,” said Pomeroy on Wednesday.
“It was a lot of hard work, reaching out to the community, and I was pleased with the results.”
Pomeroy said he commends everyone who offered themselves for election.
“I am excited to be moving forward with this new council,” he said. “There is a huge challenge ahead of us, but I think we’re all excited to get to the task at hand.”
Pomeroy’s co-councillor, Cora Hamel Pardy, said she wasn’t as confident about getting elected as her family and friends were.
“I wasn't taking anything for granted because I didn't go door to door,” explained Hamel Pardy. “In the first few polls the numbers placed me in the top six. I maintained the top six ranking but I knew we were waiting on three big polls to be tallied and they could have made all the difference. In fact, I was more excited and concentrated on the Mayor results than I was my own!”
Hamel Pardy said when she did realize she had made it through to council, it was “surreal.”
“I had flashbacks of various comments from various people. I was proud, excited and humbled that the public had elected me.”
She said the fact that all councillors and the incoming mayor are all new to the process doesn’t discourage her at all.
“I expect there to be a huge learning curve and I am up for the challenge,” she said.
“I look forward to working with each and every one of my fellow council members.”
Tanya Michelin is also letting her win sink in.
“I cried as soon as I knew I was going to get in; all the hard work through my campaign paid off,” she recalls. “I did not want to get my hopes up and the numbers were so close coming in, it was nail biting for about two hours waiting for the final numbers.”
Michelin said she is “thrilled” there is new mayor and council.
“I think our community was ready for a change and the ballots speak volumes of that change.”