© Guardian photo by Jim Day
Matthew Jelley has big expansion plans for his Shining Waters Family Fun Park in Cavendish that he opened in 2006.
CAVENDISH — Finalizing a vision for the future is one of Matthew Jelley’s priorities for one of the more prominent areas on the province’s north shore.
Jelley was elected chairman of the Resort Municipality of Stanley Bridge, Hope River, Bayview, Cavendish and part of North Rustico at a community meeting this week.
Jelley is well known to Islanders. He’s president of the Jelley-family-owned Maritime Fun Group, which owns Sandspit, Shining Waters Family Fun Park, Burlington Amusement Park as well as Magic Mountain in Moncton.
That vision for the future comes in the form of the community’s Official Plan, which establishes things like zoning.
“The community is going through an Official Plan review and it’s time to get that finalized and to have clarity for residents and developers and business owners,’’ Jelley said.
The new chairman said Cavendish obviously has a strong commercial sector along with a strong residential community, both of which have co-existed and fed off each other. But it has also presented the area with entertainment options, created jobs and provided what Jelley calls a great quality of life.
His goal is to continue that delicate balancing act.
Jelley said there wasn’t any particular issue that motivated him to put his name up as council chairman.
“It was more of a desire and a willingness to give back to a community that’s been very good to me, one that has been a part of my life for 30 of my 35 years. I grew up at Marco Polo Land in the summers and obviously I have a major investment in the region, both in terms of dollars and time. It’s a community that I care about.’’
At Sandspit alone, Jelley said he has invested more than $150,000 over the past year on new lighting and safety systems.