On November 9th Municipal Elections will be held and I will be running for the position of Mayor of our community.
Personal Background Information
For those of you who may not know me, I have lived in Gull Lake for most of my life.. I am retired from the Gull Lake Ambulance Service where I was employed as a Paramedic for 32 years. My wife and I operate Campbell’s Accommodations short term housing rentals and Century Apartments. Recently I have accepted a maintenance position at the Autumn House Independent Living Facility. I am also the Chairman of the Gull Lake Lyceum Theatre Board. I enjoy volunteering my time to promote our community by maintaining the Town Website, Instagram, Twitter, and Gull Lake Events Facebook Page. I also enjoy helping with the Winterfest Event and looking after Christmas Cove in the Campground.
Local Government Experience and Education
I have served on Town Council since 2008 and have been mayor since 2009. There is a great deal to learn about local government and its areas of responsibility. I always do my best to attend education sessions when I can. Since 2009 only I and one other councilor hold a Municipal Development Leadership Program Certificate. The program covers 6 key areas of importance for urban government:
- Municipal Leaders’ Roles and Responsibilities.
- Strategic and Financial Planning for Municipalities.
- Municipal Economic Development Fundamentals.
- Human Resources in the Municipal Workplace.
- Public Relations and Communications for Municipalities.
- Community and Land Use Planning
Accountability & Economic Development
I take my position on Council seriously and strongly believe in accountability to the taxpayers of our community. I have always worked closely with current, and past Councils to ensure residents are kept informed on Council plans and decisions. I regularly supply updates through Mayor’s Reports on the town website that are shared on the various social media platforms held by the town. Many of the important updates are picked up by local news media providing a broader reach to those not on social media. I often receive calls from residents asking for information or sharing concerns. I always work diligently to provide the information or help with the concern to the best of my ability.
Last term I ran on the platform of Growth and sustainability. While Covid-19 has put a damper on economic prosperity we are a strong and resilient community. During this term, I worked closely with Council to hire our Economic Development Officer and create the Economic Development Committee. I take an active role in the EDC and fully support them in their efforts to help improve the local economy. I updated and improved the Town Website Directory information to better promote our local businesses. I worked with the Council to adopt the two new business incentives (New Business Vacant Commercial Property and New Business, Existing Building OR Existing Business, Existing Building, New Owner).
If re-elected I will continue to work with Council to ensure we are held to a high standard of accountability. Growth and sustainability are important and I will continue to promote and take an active role in initiatives that support these goals.
Town Council is A- Team
Town Council has a responsibility to make the best decisions for the residents of Gull Lake. The best decisions come from Council when Councillors work together collaboratively on issues. Council does this by studying relevant background information provided by the administrator and when necessary seeking input from residents. I always make it a priority to make sure that every member of the Council is given the chance to speak on every issue and try to bring everyone to consensus if needed. I believe the Town Council is a team and a team-based approach is always the best way to seek answers to problems. I stand behind my fellow councilors and always defend council decisions
Engaging Residents is Important
I believe strongly in engaging residents to help the council meet the needs of the community. This term I was actively involved in the creation of the Towns Strategic Plan 2017 – 2021. The plan was developed from information provided by residents through the Community Needs Assessment. I was also actively involved in the Thrive Sask Initiative this term. The “Thrive Sask program encourages communities to take steps to enact long-term change, while also implementing short-term, inexpensive and placed-based activities that support the local business sector and create a sense of enthusiasm and momentum about the community. “ A workshop was held with a good number of participants from the community that contributed to some positive initiatives undertaken by the Economic Development Committee.
Regional Co-operation and Planning
The Town of Gull Lake enjoys a strong relationship with neighboring municipalities and has for many years. But more could be done through regional co-operation and planning to help improve services, and explore economic development opportunities. Both myself and Reeve Terry Winter (RM of Gull Lake) attended a Regional Cooperation Workshop held in Gull Lake earlier this year. The workshop was a relationship-building exercise and helped towns and RM’s see each other through a different light by helping us better understand each others governing priorities.
We both agreed that we learned a great deal about the things we have in common, but we also learned about the different ways we see things because of our governing priorities. We both agreed holding a regional workshop with all of our regional partners would be a great idea. If re-elected I will collaborate with the Council and our neighboring rural municipalities to bring a Regional Cooperation Workshop to Gull Lake.
A Great Community!
I believe we are truly fortunate to live in a community where people work together and devote so much of their time and effort to making our community a great place to live and raise a family. On November 9th I am asking for your support and vote so that we can continue to move our community forward together in a positive direction.