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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

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Oxford Readies for By-election and Santa Parade
Mark Rushton
/ Categories: News

Oxford Readies for By-election and Santa Parade

The regular meeting of Oxford Town Council was a quick affair, with only three items on the agenda for representatives to address.

The Chief Administrative Officer, Linda Cloney, advised council of vacancies on three local committees, where members of the public are encouraged to join and contribute their insight. The “All Saints Community Health Care Foundation”, the “Accessibility Committee” and the “Audit Committee” are all in need of one person.

Still with committees, Oxford has a new “Welcoming Committee” aimed at giving newcomers to the community information and assistance as they become familiar with the town. 

The hard numbers aren’t available yet, but the town has seen a significant population boost over the past several months as Oxford Frozen Foods brings in workers who, it is hoped, will remain as permanent additions to the community. 

The Welcoming Committee will host an event at the Oxford Fire Hall on December 7th, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Essentially a “meet and greet”, newcomers are welcome to drop by and meet their neighbours. Deputy Mayor Arnold MacDonald encouraged those who are “old newcomers” to come out as well.

Also on the agenda, Council was asked to approve the expenses and plan for the upcoming by-election. Oxford’s long-serving council member Wade Adshade resigned a couple of months ago, and under municipal regulations that seat must be filled. Nominations for the vacant seat open in early December, with the vote set for January 7th.

Mayor Greg Henley said this is a good opportunity for those thinking of participating in Municipal Politics, as the term will be for half of the regular four-year period, as a full municipal election will be coming in 2024. Henley said its perfect for someone who wants to “test the waters” and learn what kind of commitment is involved as a town councillor.

Cloney noted that the costs of this by-election are comparable to 2021, when the town also faced a vacancy. The expected expense is approximately $8,000—money that will have to come out of the town’s contingency fund, as a by-election was not expected during budget deliberations last Spring. 

Cloney says if only one candidate is nominated, the seat would be filled by acclamation, then the bulk of the expected costs would be eliminated. That includes the $4,255 fee to Intellivote, the tech provider for online and telephone voting selected by the town prior to the 2020 election. 

What remains to be seen is whether Oxford residents will have their say on curbside garbage pickup. The Town plans to include the question on the ballot during this by-election, but if the seat is filled by acclamation, Mayor Henley says there will have to be another process by which residents could make their opinions heard on that matter.

Oxford is also gearing up for a fun Friday Night, with the town’s Christmas Parade kicking off at 6:30pm. The parade theme this year is “Walking in a Winter Wonderland”.  That ties in with the town’s new Municipal Physical Activity Leader (M-PAL) Jimmy Ward’s goals of getting people moving. A key part of this year’s parade planning, Ward has encouraged those participating in the event to make walking a part of their involvement.

The parade will take about 30 minutes to move through town, with a “quiet zone” along Water Street for people who are sensitive to loud noises. Parade participants are being asked to refrain from using sirens or other loud noisemakers for most of that downtown street.

After the parade, folks will be welcomed at the Oxford Arena for a free public skate and complimentary hot chocolate, as well as some quality time with Jolly Old Saint Nick. Kids who haven’t mailed their letters to Santa are welcome to drop them off at the arena that evening.

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