Change, Choice, Vision - A New Direction for Summerside Nancy Beth Guptill announces candidacy for city’s top job
SUMMERSIDE – It is now a three-way race for Summerside’s top job.
Entrepreneur, community volunteer and advocate, Nancy Beth Guptill, has joined the race to become mayor of the City of Summerside this November.
Guptill has lived in Summerside for most of her life, and has a deep affection for her home community, wanting to see it and its people prosper and thrive.
Being a single parent, she chose to return home to launch her business and raise her daughter, who is now in university.
“I have deep roots here and I am committed to our community. I have served in different roles and capacities to help make Summerside a thriving and prosperous community where all members of our society feel safe, welcomed, valued and supported, with access to a quality of life -- we all deserve that,” said Guptill.
“I want to ensure that Summerside is an attractive place where people either choose to never leave, or they choose to come and live.”
It comes as no surprise that Guptill has a keen interest in municipal politics, being the daughter of one of PEI’s Famous Five, former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and a former Summerside councillor Nancy Guptill.
“Seeing new candidates with diverse backgrounds put their names forward, including a number of female candidates, really excites me because, if elected, they will bring a collective fresh perspective to council chambers,” said Guptill.
“Looking through their different lenses can bring about an exciting future for the residents and businesses of Summerside.”
Guptill had been mulling over the idea of seeking the job of mayor -- giving it thoughtful consideration -- when she started seeing the many strong women putting their names forward. She realized, as her campaign hashtag clearly says, that #thetimeisnow, and that she wanted to be among the chorus of women to lead the change.
“As each woman stepped out to announce their ward candidacy I realized now is the time, more than ever before, that we may achieve gender parity and equity in Summerside’s municipal government.”
Guptill said that the final decision came when she attended the recent Famous Five 25th Anniversary Conference, in the chambers of the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island to mark International Day of the Girl Child on Oct. 11.
“Listening to the Famous Five panel being interviewed by the Premier and Lieutenant Governor, along with hearing from 27 young female leaders was truly motivational and inspiring,” she noted. “The key message of the day was ‘the time is now’ and that message solidified my decision to go.”
Guptill believes in an open and transparent municipal government, one that works collaboratively with residents, businesses, stakeholders and other government partners of all levels.
“I have extremely good working relationships with many community groups and stakeholders, as well as all three local cabinet ministers and the MP for Egmont,” she added.
“As mayor, I will listen to and work hard for the citizens and the businesses of Summerside. I will work with community and government stakeholders to foster, nurture and build relationships that benefit the community, and I will work hard to ensure Summerside’s future is programmed for prosperity and economic growth so that all citizens have access to equal and fair opportunities.”
Through conversations with residents and business community, Guptill said the message is loud and clear that they want change, choice and vision, which has become the focus of her campaign and her campaign slogan.
“Change will come to council chambers by having new fresh faces and more women on Summerside City Council,” said Guptill.
“As a mayoral candidate – a new candidate in the realm of municipal politics – I have a new approach and new vision. As well, I haven’t been ingrained in City Hall for 20 plus years, rather I have been out there working in the trenches alongside some of Summerside’s most vulnerable as well as working with its business leaders to help launch and grow their businesses.
“As such, I bring a fresh perspective and the female perspective.”
Guptill concluded by saying that she hopes the support she has already received since her announcement will translate into support come election day on Monday, Nov. 5.
“With the will of the people, it is possible the electorate will vote for change and new direction and elect me as their second woman mayor for Summerside, following in the footsteps of the late Frances Perry, Summerside’s first female mayor, who was elected in 1979.”