Pat McGowan filed nomination papers Monday to compete for the Montague mayor's job against incumbent Richard Collins.

It was a late development as nominations for elections in most of P.E.I.'s small municipalities closed.

McGowan and Collins have been trading the mayor's job back and forth for close to 20 years, often squaring off against each other. McGowan was last mayor from 2006-09, and did not offer in 2009 after getting into a serious dispute with the town council. Collins had lost the race to McGowan in 2006 by just nine votes, and had said he would not run again.

Despite all that, the two finding themselves squaring off again for Montague's top job in 2012.

Interest varies

Municipal Affairs Minister Wes Sheridan says interest in running for municipal office is running high in some areas but is lacking in others.

In Georgetown, three people are contesting for mayor and 11 others are running for council. In Kensington, the mayor's seat won't be contested and just seven people are running for six council seats.

Sheridan would like to see more people running in some communities.

"More and more responsibility is being handed down to municipal governments, and we need experienced, good quality individuals doing that," he said.

"Municipal Affairs has really put a push on this year to try to raise the bar to ensure there's a good pickup for councils and to ensure the vote gets out."

Municipal terms will only be for two years this time round. That will allow all Island towns will be on the same election schedule in 2014.

Islanders in 69 communities will go to the polls Nov. 5.

For mobile device users: Why does municipal politics often struggle to attract interest?