• James Armstrong

Blair Mackay drumming up support in Hudson District 5


PHOTO COURTESY BLAIR MCKAY

As a candidate for council in Hudson District 5, Blair Mackay is offering his experience and talent to assist in refurbishing the image of the town.

Internationally acclaimed musician, percussionist, and artist, Blair Mackay is on the campaign trail in Hudson District 5 and he’s not alone. Well-known blogger Jim Duff is competing for the same seat at the council table.

Infrastructure

Mackay, a long-time resident of the district, said, “Hudson needs to shine and work well to grow.” In that context, infrastructure is at the top of his list of important issues.

“Getting everyone hooked up to the sewage treatment system is an issue in terms of growth for the area,” he said, adding it’s an environmental issue as well. “Potable water and roads are important to the entire town, and roads are the biggest issue.”

Cultural policy

“My life as a musician and artist began in Hudson,” said Mackay who has been instrumental in organizing the Hudson Music Festival for the past 12 years. “Establishing and continuing the festival required collaboration with everyone in Hudson,” said Mackay regarding his experience.

He is also a volunteer member of the Cultural Policy Committee of the Town of Hudson. “The goal is to enhance and enrich the cultural community of Hudson,” he said noting that with 40 years of professional experience in the arts and culture scene, he is well aware of the intricacies of grant applications.

“We need a focused vision with a plan,” said Mackay adding that could include the development of a studio centre. “Not-for-profit organizations need addresses,” he added. An element of Mackay’s vision is for the cultural policy to expand beyond the horizons of Hudson.

“We need to create a broader sense of community that extends beyond ourselves, to look outward rather than inward,” he said.

Urban development

“I’m not against development but I think we need to get our home base working first,” said Mackay referring to the need to have current residences attached to municipal water and sewage services where available. As for the Pine Beach/Sandy Beach development, he thought that having the town purchase all or part of the property doesn’t seem to be possible. “It’s a marsh and a wetland, the big shame is that could disappear, “ he said.

Regarding the Pine Lake dam problem, he emphasized that however that project is developed, it needs to be well-kept and attractive. “I love Pine Lake. It’s iconic, it defines who we are,” he said.

Two phrases are key to Mackay’s platform, ‘You can’t do it alone’ and ‘There’s lots of team players in Hudson’ meaning he is willing to work with others and understands the need for collaboration to get the work done.

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