Harper re-elected as Nipawin mayor

·2 min read

The unofficial election results have been released out of Nipawin and Mayor Rennie Harper will keep her title going into the next term.

Harper led the count with 373 votes, followed by Brian Starkell with 316 and Marlon Zacharias with 248.

It was an exciting night for Harper, even more so with re-election on the table, she said. There are things that she would like to continue to do, like the Nipawin Hospital Heliport, and she has been confirmed to do that.

It takes courage to put yourself out there and take the risk, she said. With half the council being new faces, Harper is looking forward to mentoring them about managing the municipal government.

“It takes a lot of hard work because there are a lot of things to learn. Despite the fact that I have lots of skills and I brought lots of experience, doesn't mean that there aren't new things that you have to learn, and you're working with a lot of people, you're trying to please as many as you can, knowing all the time that you can't please everybody.”

Joining Harper at the table will be incumbent councillors Jan Boughen, Sheldon Chornawka, and Geoff Stewart, and new councillors Stacey Vik, Bruce Pihowich and Sheila Seiferling.

“It's exciting that we've got some new faces that are going to learn and move us forward and bring some new ideas.”

Coming in close in seventh and eighth place respectively were incumbent councillors Kerry Skowronski and Joyce Watts. Harper is sad to see them go, she said, but knows that there is still a place in the community for people to be involved with town discussions.

“They did a lot of good things for our community so that's kind of sad. I also know that there's a place where you can ask questions and get input from some of those people that aren't on your council.”

While COVID-19 will continue to dominate the municipal governance scene, Harper said she would also like to spend the term getting more community input on moving the Nipawin economy forward, including her continued work with the Community Economic and Tourism Committee.

“What's the economics gonna look like for the people that are on the main streets of our town and how can you help do that?”

Despite coming in second place, Starkell said he was proud of his showing during the election and campaigned hard with a lot of support from the community.

“I actually feel pretty good because we came in second place, and with that, I feel pretty happy because I think we gave it our best fight that we could.”

Becky Zimmer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist