Six Esterhazy councillors running for re-election
All six current members of Esterhazy town council are running for re-election. Voters will go to the polls November 9 and will choose six councillors from a total of eight candidates.
Having been elected to council half way through the previous term via a by-election, Flick feels she has a lot more she’d like to get done.
“We have projects that we have on the go right now and I’d like to see them through,“ said Flick. ”I got in on a by-election two years ago, I haven’t done a full-term.”
After beginning her community involvement on the Esterhazy Recreation Board, Flick wanted to get more involved in helping the town reach its potential and decided to run for election as a councillor.
“I started on the rec board and I got a little taste of what it was like to be a part of municipal boards,” she said. “I talked with (councillor) Randy Bot a lot about what our role is and what we do and between those things I got interested. Basically it started with me sitting on some boards in town and then wanting to have a bigger role in the community.”
Although it’s only been half a term for Flick, she feels the council has accomplished a lot in a short time and is excited to see the water treatment plan go forward if re-elected this fall.
“The water treatment plant has been a big thing for us,” she said. “It’s going to be a big accomplishment for us. On the rec side of things with improvements to facilities, like we got the new roof at the arena done this past spring. Being part of the regional park has been big too. Another big thing was being a part of our emergency measures. We updated our emergency measures plan where we spent countless hours going over and updating the plan if there was an emergency in our community, it hadn’t been updated for many years.”
Councillor Earl Nickell said he plans to keep improving the community. He was elected in a by-election in 2018.
“It’s been two years on council for me,“ he said. ”I took over in a by-election after a councillor got a new job and they felt it was a conflict of interest. That’s how I got on and I wanted to get on to help make some changes and try to make the community better and work towards that goal with the council. It’s a great place to live now, but everything else there’s always going to be ways to improve it.”
One of Nickell’s goals if re-elected is ensuring work is continue towards the water plan and says it’s the main focus of this council.
“There are still some things I feel needed to be accomplished,” he said. “The water plant is a big one. We want to get that up and running, we have to get that going here pretty quickly—we’re waiting on grants and stuff. There’s also things around town I’d like to see done and I want to see that through. In general I just want to keep working towards making the community better and see if we can get more people stopping here as tourists and spending some time here.”
Nickell is proud of the community accomplishments he’s been part of as a councillor, like helping to get the unleashed dog park in Esterhazy started.
“One thing we’ve accomplished was getting the dog park up and running for people to have a nice spot for their dogs to go and exercise,” he said. “We’ve been getting infrastructure work done that need to be completely. Also just general kind of community work we’ve gotten done and it’s just trying to help the community get better.”
Having lived in the Esterhazy community for years, Maggie Rowland decided to run for council originally to help make a difference in a community and be a voice for those that she felt weren’t being heard.
“I didn’t like some of the things going on,” she said. “I wanted to get involved to try and make a bit of a difference and let the tax payers be heard, that was a big thing for me. I didn’t think they were being heard previously.
When Rowland’s first term began, she says the focus was on cleaning up the community and now the council is focussed on bigger opportunities to better Esterhazy, specifically with the water treatment plant.
“I think we’ve put out a lot of fires,” she said. “There was a lot going on and I think we’ve settled most of that. We’re going ahead with the water treatment plant now and that’s big. We’re also trying to make this a better place to work. It seems to me at every council meeting we seem to accomplish something. We’ve gotten a lot of community work done and that’s more or less what I wanted, to let the tax payers be heard and give us some idea of what they actually wanted us to spend their money on. I think we’ve done a good job on that.”
If Rowland is re-elected to council, she says it would be for a final term to see the water treatment plan project through.
“I’d be hoping that we’d complete the water treatment plant,” she said. “I think that’s the biggest thing on our plate right now. Once that is done then I’d be happy not to run again.”
After completing his first term as a councillor, Vern Petracek decided to run again as he hopes to continue working on the projects this council started.
“There’s just a few thing we’ve got on the go, like the water treatment plant and stuff like that. I’d like to run to see the projects through that we started.”
Petracek originally ran for council because he saw himself as a leader that could help the community improve.
“When you’re dedicated to the community and want to make a difference, you’ve got to step forward and help in the process of building the community,” he said.
Preparation and research are key to being a councillor and Petracek prides himself on those aspects that help him be a well-rounded member of the council.
“We’ve got the new water treatment plant that we’ve put a lot of work into,” he said. “We’re always working on different things like the landfill. I do a lot of research on stuff like that and same with paving and stuff like that, I do a lot of homework. It takes a lot of time, but if you’re going to volunteer your time then you’ve got to be knowledgeable in all of the areas. You can’t just focus on one area, you have to be open to all aspects of the town. Whether it’s recreation, public works, or projects that are on the go. You can’t focus on one area, you’ve got to be well-rounded and do your research.
“The water treatment plant is one of the big things we have to address,” he said. “We’ve got a deadline and we’ve got to have it up and running. We’re going to continue to work towards that goal that we set as a council. There’s always different things to work towards as a councillor. Like I said, you’ve got to be open to all areas. You have to be accountable to the taxpayers and that’s your number one goal, to make sure we’re running the town and running it as efficiently as possible.”
With his first term on council coming to an end, Randy Bot says he is thankful for the opportunity he was given to try and better the community.
“I’ve been on council for four years now and have enjoyed it for the most part,” Bot said. “But at this time, I’m unsure if I’ll be running again. I have an opportunity to further my education in the near future and I’m strongly considering going back to school. I originally wanted to run for council because I had an interest in municipal government and wanted to learn more about the ins and outs of how our community was ran.”
Bot says everything completely by this council was a team effort and he’s proud of the way they were able to help grow the community in different facets.
“I feel like we’ve accomplished a lot as a team on council. From changes in our community like planning of the water treatment plant and raising money for recreation by bringing Rock in The Park to our community. I haven’t accomplished anything alone in my time, every accomplishment goes to the team in the council room. I feel everybody has their part in there and we are a very strong team.”
“I’d like to see through the construction of the water treatment plant as well as bring things to our community for the taxpayers can use and try and plan things to bring the community together.”
“It takes away a fair amount of home time being on lots committees, but years back someone told me instead of complaining about things, do something about it. So here I am.,” said marty Pfeifer, the longest serving member of council.
The main reasons Pfeifer would like to return to council is to see through the water treatment plant as well as continue to work towards a new hospital being built in Esterhazy.
“I feel in my two terms I’ve learned a lot about politics and how slow the process can be,” he said. “I feel I’ve helped to make the town slightly better with a few upgrades to some facilities with more to come.
“I’d like to continue on council because I want to see the water treatment plant completed and a hospital built, as well as help to develop a better run business plan—I want money to go further for the town and to better utilize services.”
With the amount of time that goes into municipal politics, Pfeifer said it was a difficult decision ot run because of the time he’ll miss spending with his family.
“I got involved to try and help better the town and because I enjoy the politics side of things, but I’m missing out on the home time.”