In the weeks leading up to the Oct. 20 municipal election, The Weekly News will be profiling the districts that matter to our readers. Every available candidate will be given a chance to share his or her vision for the district and HRM.
District 11: Spryfield – Sambro – Prospect Road
Following Prospect Road East of Indian Harbour all the way across to Purcells Cove Road along the Northwest Arm, District 11 encompasses several distinct communities. From Spryfield to Sambro to Harrietsfield, the area is primarily suburban in nature with low to middle income dwellings. The new district is also home to Crystal Crescent Beach Provincial Park and Terrence Bay Provincial Wilderness Area. Two of the main issues for residents include crime and congestion and with a district this size, the next councilor is going to have their work cut out for them.
Stephen Adams (Incumbent for District 18-Spryfield-Herring Cove):
Stephen Adams was born and raised in Spryfield, and currently lives in Bedford with his wife and two stepchildren. He has represented the area before and after amalgamation since 1991, and was the youngest serving deputy mayor at one point and revised that role again in 2007. Some of his hobbies include going to the gym and building/carpentry. His upcoming projects include making campaign signs, which he says is one of his favourite aspects of the campaign.
“I enjoy the job, I love working with the people I’ve represented over the years and there’s some challenges that lie ahead and I want to hit them head on,” Adams said. “I originally got involved in city council because of how our area (Spryfield) was being portrayed in the media and said ‘enough is enough.’”
Adams said he would like to see improved decorum within council chambers after voters go to the polls Oct. 20. He said that debate and even a heated debate is fine, but councillors should always maintain a certain level of respect for each other.
“Everyone at council needs to understand that we’re all trying to do the best job that we can,” Adams said. “And some people think that if one district gets something then their district will suffer and we have to get over that.”
Adams said that if he is re-elected he would like to see continued improvements made to the William Spry Centre, now that the interior renovations are complete, he thinks it’s time to work on the grounds outside. He also said looking into building a new recreation centre for the Sambro community is a priority.
“I’d like to see development that is controlled and appropriate,” Adams said. “I want to see the downtown core revitalized and get an understanding from all groups involved that both heritage and new (development) can coexist.”
Adams said that Boston is a good example of how Halifax can balance the needs of heritage and new buildings.
Peter Grabosky has spent 22 years in the Canadian Armed Forces with most of that time being focused on communications. He was posted in various communities across Canada from Victoria to Halifax. Grabosky is married with four children, two are in university and the other two attend junior high. He’s been living in Prospect Bay for five years and is retiring from the armed forces soon. His hobbies include running, reading and volunteering.
“I’ve always been involved in politics, working somewhat in the background by supporting different groups and working in elections,” Grabosky said. “I took political science in university and it’s been something in my heart for almost all of my life.”
Grabosky said that after years of debating with the television during council sessions, his wife said do something about it.
“I live in Prospect Bay and in my opinion, I don’t think I could represent Cole Harbour or Bedford or Eastern Shore if I didn’t know the particular situations in each community,” Grabosky said. “Even within this district, it’s pretty large, Spryfield is really like a small city of its own.”
Grabosky said he would like to put a moratorium on the proposed sewage lines in the William’s Lake area as well as discuss with businesses what the affect bike lanes could have on the area. He said although the lanes could reduce car traffic, it might bring a different clientele to the business community.
“When we have this ship building contract start up we’re going to see a lot of new people wanting to buy houses and they may not be able to afford downtown, so I foresee people moving towards Spryfield and development moving in. I feel that we’re going to have to watch the rents and house prices so that people who currently live in the area won’t be pushed out.”
Jim Hoskins has lived in the Leiblin Park area within Spryfield for 37 years. He was the first community police officer in the area and was on the beat for 36 years until he retired as a staff sergeant. Hoskins is married and raised two children in the neighbourhood who are now grown up. Recently Hoskins has been a commentator on crime issues within HRM, speaking to various media outlets about his opinion on certain matters. Hoskins is also the chair of the Boys & Girls Club in Spryfield.
“I’m a little dismayed about the complacency that I see at council, particularly with the councilor that represents us now in Spryfield,” Hoskins said. “I my opinion 22 years is long enough and I was disappointed with the reaction from this councilor (Adams) during the concert scandal and the Remembrance Day (eviction).”
Hoskins said that council is not informed enough by research or residents before they make decisions on issues, he said he would like to see that change by increasing the municipality’s use of social media interaction with citizens and by having reports handed out further in advance so councilors can make informed decisions.
“One of the big issues with me was the crime problem in HRM,” Hoskins said. “I’d address that with more police officers.”
Hoskins said he doesn’t think HRM should be one of the Top 10 most violent cities in Canada, and he’ll be pushing to change that if elected. Hoskins said he would like to see the municipality’s auditor be given more resources and power as well as getting more infrastructure funding for improving roads in his area.