LOCAL ELECTIONS 2019: WATERFORD CITY EAST
SURFING aboard the Green Wave, Jody Power’s infectious enthusiasm couldn’t prevent him from beaming his smile around the Count Centre at WIT Arena before and after his election in Waterford City East after 11pm on Sunday night.
“A whole new world beckons,” he says excitedly as he looks towards what lies ahead for him on Waterford Council.
A Marine Engineer Officer, he will bring to his role a responsibility to make people aware of the things that are limiting the lifespan of planet earth, while the role will also bring him the responsibility to represent the people of Waterford.
It is a role, he says, he will relish. His mother May always strived to help in the community and two of his brothers supporting him on Sunday have assumed roles helping people – his brother Fr Liam Power is the priest of St Joseph’s, St Benildus and St Mary’s Parish and his brother Eugene spent eight years as Principal at St Declan’s Community College in Kilmacthomas.
“Waterford right now is in a dark place and there’s so much negativity around – we have to try and change that. This is what I admire about Matt – he stuck his head out there, took a leadership role and motivated people to get off their asses and do something about it. That’s what I have. We have to do things to change.”
Environmental Strategic Policy Committee
He has previously worked with Waterford City and County Council’s Environmental Strategic Policy Committee and he states that he was fuelled in the final months having seen trees cut on the Mall which he had previously fought to be planted.
Speaking of the Green ethos, he says: “We’ve got to counteract that and there are so many ways that we can make the place greener and better for everybody. It just requires a different way of thinking and doing things. The important thing is that we’re aware of what’s going on out there right now because we’ve been taken for fools really. “
New ways of thinking include speaking to schools to try to encourage staggered opening times to reduce traffic and pollution as well as making cycling a more attractive option.
“It would be lovely to have a Blueway, extending the Greenway, connecting Waterford City all the way to Cheekpoint and Passage East. That’s very doable and a lot of the infrastructure is already there – it might just have to be expanded a little bit with a couple of small little footbridges put in. The cost wouldn’t be the same as the Greenway and it would open up all of east Waterford. These villages could really do with those benefits.”
In the coming months and years, he is looking forward to meeting his colleagues of all parties, advocating important issues like the need for a University and additional services at University Hospital Waterford and working together to make Waterford a better place.
“We need the Councillors to be working together – the county can’t be fighting the city and leave crumbs fall off the table. We have to be one voice for Waterford so that nationally this is noted.”