Saint Andrews mayor and deputy mayor vie for the same job in May election

·3 min read
Brad Henderson (left) is the current deputy mayor of Saint Andrews, while Doug Naish is the incumbent mayor for the town. And they're both running for mayor. (CBC News - image credit)
Brad Henderson (left) is the current deputy mayor of Saint Andrews, while Doug Naish is the incumbent mayor for the town. And they're both running for mayor. (CBC News - image credit)

The mayoral race in Saint Andrews features two candidates who know each other well.

Mayor Doug Naish and Deputy Mayor Brad Henderson are vying for council's top job in the muncipal election in May.

"I just wasn't ready to step down," Naish said.

This would be Naish's second term serving as mayor for the town of Saint Andrews. He served as a councillor before he was elected in 2016. He also spent more than 30 years in public service in Ontario and New Brunswick.

"There are more challenges and more accomplishments to be made moving forward."

But if residents are voting based on the past five years of accomplishments on council, it might be hard to pick.

Similar successes

Both Naish and Henderson took credit for the development of the Saint Andrews Wellness Centre, which provides health services to residents.

Naish said the centre will offer fitness, doctor and dental services. He's also hoping for mental health services to be provided with the help of the Department of Health.

They also both claim credit for recruiting a new doctor to the area, bumping up the number of full-time doctors in St. Andrews to two.

Affordable housing an issue

And their platforms aren't that much different.

They both plan to tackle affordable housing in the area, especially with more people from across Canada moving to the area.

"The real-estate market is unbelievably active at the moment," said Naish.

Town council is already in the process of putting a rental bylaw in place, which would put limitations on airbnbs.

"Not everybody is in agreement but we think it's part of the process," Naish said.

Naish and Henderson both said they would help boost tourism in the area once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
Naish and Henderson both said they would help boost tourism in the area once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.(CBC)

Henderson said Saint Andrew's vacancy rate is about 0.3 per cent, making it easy for landlords to charge whatever they want.

And they're both looking at ways to boost the town's economy once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

Henderson said New Brunswick and the Saint Andrews area has become a destination for people across Canada because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"People are looking at our region like they have never looked at in years," he said.

Naish said he also wants to put limitations and instill regulations that protect tenants.

"My assessment was it's been a successful five year term," he said. "Of course the voters will get to decide that next month."

As deputy mayor, Henderson feels he did a good job selling the community to other parts of Canada.

He pitched St. Andrews for the premiers meeting in 2018. Henderson said he was also a liaison when USA Today voted Saint Andrews as the best destination in Canada in 2017. And when Amazing Race Canada was filmed there in 2016.

"Those are huge things that lift the profile of the community," Henderson said.

Both committed to getting the job done

Henderson moved back to Saint Andrews in 2015. He was acclaimed for town council in 2016 and was elected by fellow councillors as deputy mayor. He also works as the director of operations at Kingsbrae Gardens.

After he discussed running as mayor with his wife and kids, the next phone call he made was to Naish.

"It certainly comes out of a position of respect," he said.

Henderson said he has a lot to bring to the table, including his communication and consulting skills.

"For me it's almost been a natural path."

Both the candidates in the running are committed to the job, Henderson said.

"The big thing here is the community has a choice."