Eight candidates have thrown their hats in the ring, each looking to fill one of the six councillor positions up for grabs on Battleford town council.
Entering the race for the first time, is Kirby Arbeau. The vice-principal of St. Vital School has worked in Battleford for the past 10 years, and is looking to give back to Battleford in whatever way he can. Arbeau said Battleford is a family oriented community, and supporting family services and activities is one of his priorities.
Looking to remain on council for a second term, is Shelley Boutin-Gervais. The long-time SaskTel employee and president of Unifor Local 2-S said she wanted to ensure Battleford remains a safe and affordable place to live. She believed in transparency and accountability, and community involvement because people are what make a community strong.
Ken Chartier is also running for the first time. Chartier is a janitor with the Living Sky School Division, has served 18 years with the Battleford Volunteer Fire Department, and spent 15 years teaching fire safety to kids. Chartier said Battleford is at a critical junction as far as growth, and needs the right mindset moving forward.
Running for a second term is Doug Laing, a business development manager at Anderson Pump House. Laing was elected during the 2012 election and is seeking to keep his council spot. Laing said being on council was something he always wanted to do, and there are projects he wants to continue as a council member.
Susan McLean Tady is running for council a third time. The former town employee turned payroll officer for the Living Sky School Division, said she’s running again to create continuity and to carry on with where the town is headed. McLean Tady pointed to last year’s retirement of long time town CAO Sheryl Ballendine as one of the reasons to keep some familiar faces on council.
Candidate Judy Pruden said she decided to run because she and her family were born and raised in Batttleford, and running was something she wanted to do for a number of years but the time was never right. Pruden works for the Prairie North Health Region in the health and safety department, and said her hours allow her to focus on being a member of council.
Seeking a first term is Kevin Russell. Russell is sales representative for Valley Ford Sales and has also served 10 years on the Battleford Volunteer Fire Department. He is a member of various charities and boards including the Midget AAA Battlefords Stars and the Battleford Parks and Recreation department. He said having a young family, he wanted to have a hand in creating a better town for his kids and other youths.
Deciding to run once again is long time councillor Gordon Yarde. The retired Yarde has been on town council since 1985 and is active with many different groups and boards in the town, including being a deacon at the Anglican Church. Yarde said he wanted to run again because he felt he is still able to represent the community and he considers himself a “people person.”
Voters head to the polls on Wednesday Oct. 26.
Matt Kelly is battlefordsNOW's town municipal affairs and community reporter. He can be reached at [email protected] or tweet him @mattjkelly2.
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