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Thursday, 23 August 2012 15:13

Swift Current councillors seeking second term to promote city's prosperity

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With their first three years in office drawing to a close, Swift Current councillors Denis Perrault and George Bowditch have announced their intentions to seek a second term.

 

The first day for the submission of nomination papers was Aug. 17 and papers may be filed until nomination day on Sept. 19.

Perrault followed the same approach as three years ago and submitted his application on the first day for nominations while Bowditch declared his intention to run on Aug. 20.

For Perrault the decision to run again was the result of a lot of discussion with his wife Leah.

“It’s a time commitment for the person as well as for the whole family and so it should be a family decision,” he said. “We decided that we can make it work, that we were able to make it work last time and we should be able to do it again this time.”

His first term has been a good experience and he still wants to contribute towards the achievement of goals set by the current council.

“It was a lot of learning and work, but I enjoyed serving and I enjoyed working with the team and with the administration,” he said. “For the next four years it’s a matter of seeing it to fruition and seeing the hard work really pay off.”

He highlighted a number of successes of the current council. These include an improved communication strategy and transparency, the improvement of city infrastructure, the promotion of growth in the city and improved relationships with the R.M. of Swift Current.

His priorities for a second term is the continuation of the City's strategic plan for growth and to see progress on the proposed Integrated Facility.

“One of the main things that I want to see is continued growth in our business community and in our residential community,” he said. “I want to see us have continued strong relationships with our neighbours and I want to see us working collaboratively to grow our entire region.”

For Bowditch, who described his first term as a humbling and rewarding experience to represent city residents, it was an easy decision to stand for re-election.

“I’ve got work to do yet,” he said. “I’ve got projects in mind that I’d like to see done, including more seniors housing, more affordable housing and I want to make sure that our infrastructure program continues.”

He referred to the funding partnership between the City and the provincial government for the development of a comprehensive housing plan for Swift Current, which should be completed by the end of the year.

“We must do our best to make sure everyone can have access to proper housing in Swift Current,” he said.

Another priority for Bowditch is the upgrading of Highway #4 and extended border services at the Monchy/Morgan port as a means to promote a western trade corridor, which will link Swift Current with the United States and the global transportation hub in Regina.

He also believes it is important for the City to build strong relationships with community partners and to continue regional partnerships with other local authorities.

“Regional partnerships such as the water agreement with the Rural Municipality of Swift Current in 2011 are key for everyone moving forward and growing not only Swift Current but the southwest as a whole,” he noted.

Perrault urged anyone considering to stand as a candidate in the upcoming civic elections on Oct. 24 to talk to current or former councillors about the experience and to attend a council meeting.

“I think we have some excellent potential candidates in our community that I’m hopeful will come to the table and come and serve,” he said. “I look forward to good open discussions with those that will be running.”

Swift Current Mayor Jerrod Schafer already announced his bid for re-election in June. Councillor Gord Budd and first-time candidate Joe Collinson have also filed their nomination papers.

 
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Matthew Liebenberg

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