Your new Town Council was sworn in 1 November and we have now been in office for just over a month. For various reasons two of our councillors have resigned and we will need to run a By-election. We have no choice – government regulations require the By- election which the Town Administrator has scheduled for Wednesday, February 1, 2017. The first Nomination day will be Wednesday, January 4, 2017. Nomination forms will be available at the town office, #134 Main Street, St. Walburg, and on the Town website.
The election needs to be advertised, ballots printed and a myriad of rules must be followed – it is both costly and manpower intensive; but, that’s Democracy in action. Once new councillors are elected they will need orientation briefs, swearing in, and administration staff and councillors will need to spend much time explaining process, setting up drop box and email accounts etc. all of which was just finished for the new Mayor and Council.
For those citizens of St Walburg who are considering “putting their names forward” as councillors please consider:
- that we are “volunteers”;
- that there are many, many meetings to attend, some of which are held in Chambers, others are held in nearby RM Offices, or Chambers in other towns or cities as close as Turtleford, and as far as Regina. Councillors are assigned various portfolios and attend meetings as needed. We need to attend these meetings as decisions made there affect us, if we aren’t there then we have no say. Generally, we try to have just one Councillor attend, sometimes they are accompanied by the Town Administrator. Council meets every two weeks and since 1 November Council has met in Chambers 3 times and each meeting has been around 4 hours. Other meetings held in the last month are: Canada 150, Recreation Board x 2, Finance/Human Resources Committee, Community Planning Committee, West Yellowhead Resource Authority (WYRWA), NW Municipalities – Lloydminster, Sk. River Health Holdings – Turtleford, SUMA Regional – Osler, Municipal Leaders’ Workshop – Warman, North Central Transportation Planning Committee – Birch Hills, NW Mutual Aid Area Meeting – Turtleford, George Cuff Seminar and the R.M. Frenchman Butte Ratepayers Meeting – Paradise Hill;
- Prospective councillors need to be aware that there is a tremendous amount of reading and research required on subjects that you may not be familiar with and that much of our reading material and communication are done via dropbox, email and cell phone;
- that you will be asked to vote on those subjects some of which may cost our ratepayers $100s of thousands if not millions of dollars. For example, over the next couple of years, we need to build a new lagoon which will cost several million, asphalt repairs, new storm drains, zoning bylaws, dog catchers and snow removal, etc. and that you must set aside your personal interests and represent the good of the town.
- Some people are uncomfortable with making decisions, but we vote and the majority vote makes the decision.
Councillors bring new ideas to promote growth, increase our standard of living – ideas that make our community a better place to raise a family, thrive and to retire. Councillors can make a difference and this is an opportunity for you to “fix” everything that you consider wrong, or overlooked in our community. If you wish to volunteer your time and like a fast pace, attending meetings and making decisions doesn’t bother you, then please consider running in the By-election.
It’s a great opportunity to serve.
George A Prudat
Town of St Walburg
306 218 7676