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Former Bowden councillors move on with their lives

Both councillors who lost re-election bids are proud of their work to lure more businesses to Bowden

BOWDEN — Two former town councillors who did not win re-election during the Oct. 18 municipal election are moving on with their lives.

Carol Pion received 156 votes and Kerry Kelm obtained 80. Both served one four-year term after being chosen during the 2017 election.

"I’m sad, of course. I’m sad, a little disappointed that I’m not able to carry on the work that we’ve worked so hard in the last four years to do. But Bowden has spoken, I guess and that’s what they’re feeling, so I guess I just have to accept it,” Pion said during an interview.

Pion said as a result, she’ll now have more time to devote to her cake creation business.

"I ran my business throughout this whole thing, so I was still really busy with that. It gave me a really good perspective about the economic development in Bowden and bringing that experience,” she said.

Spurring business was a big focus for Pion.

During her time on council, she helped create the town’s Economic Development Committee (EDC), which included fellow councillors Paul Webb and Randy Brown.

“There’s still a couple of people on council who will be able to carry that though. We got the ball rolling, that’s for sure,” she said, adding she hopes to still be able to sit on that committee as a town resident.

Pion said the EDC helped spur a lot of business growth in town, not only in the downtown core, but also by promoting home-based business.

She’s proud of that legacy, and the fact that a business showcase, held in the Paterson Community Centre a couple of years ago, helped increase the profile of home-based firms.

Pion is also proud of other changes the EDC initiated, including creation of a new logo for the town, upgrading and rebranding of its website along with an app for that website, plus installation of new town signage.

In the coming years, Pion would like to have a voice in the maintenance and upgrading of town facilities.

One example is The Igloo, the town’s arena, which her husband has operated.

“There’s some major repairs that have to be done to the arena, and I really hope that this council carries that forward and doesn’t shut down the arena, so that’s my biggest concern for them right now,” she said.

“I’ll always be a champion for Bowden, for sure.”

Kelm is philosophical about how the election turned out for him.

"I’m a little disappointed about my situation, but hey, that’s what happens,” he said. 

He wondered if he should have advertised himself more.

Like Pion, Kelm is proud of the number of businesses lured to Bowden over the past four years.

“I’m certainly a proponent of increasing our business profile here in Bowden and building the town,” he said.

Kelm was asked if he plans to seek election to council again in four years.

“Possibly,” he said. “We’ll see my situation in four years and how the council is taking care of things.”

When asked if he enjoyed his time on council, Kelm said, “for the most part, yes I did. I enjoyed seeing the fruits of our labours. Things were slow coming, but we continued to work on them and we can see the fruits now.

“And I’m happy to see that we have four incumbents that got re-elected and I think that will be a good background, a good backbone for helping the two new councillors be productive.”

Other candidates who ran could not be reached for comment.


Doug Collie

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