Mayors weigh in on fall election

April 18, 2024, 11:37 am
Ryan Kiedrowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Mayor Larry Tomlinson

Saskatchewan is in an election year for towns and villages, and while Nov. 13 may be many months away, some leaders have shared their intentions whether or not they will let their names stand on the coming ballot. Municipal elections happen every four years across the province for mayors and councillors.

In Esterhazy, current mayor Grant Forster intends to let his name stand, noting how he would like to see certain projects initiated during his tenure coming to fruition.

“My intention is to run again,” Forster confirmed. “We’ve got the hospital project, it was announced during my term, so I want to see it through. That’s my goal is to have that hospital up and running before I voluntarily step down. My intention is to run another term for sure.”

With nine years experience on town council back in the 1990s, Forster has been mayor since September of 2018.

“It’s a nice opportunity to be able to set the direction and at least be able to give my input as to how I think I want this community to grow and flourish,” he said.

He spoke highly of the fellow council members around the Esterhazy table, noting that while there are sometimes instances where disagreements may arise, “there’s lots of laughter around the table and that tells you that things are going good when that happens.”

In Moosomin, Mayor Larry Tomlinson admits he’s still on the fence with his decision.

“Honestly, I haven’t thought that far ahead about running again,” he said. “If I did, there’s a lot of things I’d like to see done yet.”

Over in Rocanville, Ron Reed would also like to retain the mayor’s seat, but noted he’s also not opposed to letting someone else take a crack at the role.

“I definitely would consider staying on council, whether that’s the mayor position, or as a councillor,” he said. “I’m open to both.”

Much like Forster, Reed would like to see projects like the pool refurbishment realized while in his position.

“I do intend on running for mayor again if the option is available to me,” said Reed, who has been on council since 2008. “It sounds a lot longer ago when I say it out loud!”

“I want to see the town succeed,” he concluded. “I’ve planted roots here and raised my kids here, and I have full intentions of making this my forever home.”

One mayor who has made her intentions known for some time is Pat Jackson in Kipling.

“I actually made the decision almost four years ago, and I have been quite open with my council and with the community,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of people asking me to run again, because there are only two of us with a fair bit of experience, but I’m also getting very long in the tooth. The time is right.”

Jackson has 20 years of experience on council over a 36-year span, and is one of Kipling’s strongest advocates, promoting her town every chance she gets.

As for anyone stepping up to take on the mayor position in the town famous for it’s red paper clip, Jackson hasn’t heard any intentions just yet.

“At this point in time, our younger councillors have not declared anything, which is their right,” she said.

Obviously, it’s still early in the year to consider running in an election—it’s the season of approving municipal budgets, after all—but starting the conversation can’t hurt!