Local mayors look to the future

·3 min read

For the mayors of Beaverlodge, Sexsmith and Wembley, next month’s municipal election is in the bag.

All three were acclaimed on Sept. 20, since there were no other candidates.

This week, they spoke to Town & Country News about their priorities moving forward.


Gary Rycroft said a new hospital and fire hall as well as improvements to town infrastructure are top of the list.

“What our goal is in the long term is to have a stable plan for infrastructure, so it's maintained and brought up to date,” said Rycroft.

He noted that some of the manholes were built in the 1950s and need updating, as the town is dealing with its water infiltration.

“It's not a small task, but it's not insurmountable,” he said.

Rycroft said he is looking forward to seeing the completion of these projects.


Kate Potter is heading into her second term as Sexsmith mayor.

She wants to continue the work she and her council have begun.

“Number one is economic development and continuing with the growth and support of our business community so that we are looking towards sustainability and a sustainable future for the community.

“Number two is our stormwater master plan; getting that completed, we're well in the process of it, but (2022) will be our main construction year and we don't want to see any more flooding for our residents.

“Number three is continued partnerships within our region, and really growing our region's influence but also our the ability to work together.”

She has been excited to see how the Sexsmith and its neighbours have overcome the challenges of the past year.

“If they're succeeding and we're able to succeed, then all of us together as a community are that much better off.”


Former town councillor Kelly Peterson will now move into the mayor’s seat. Long-time mayor Chris Turnmire did not seek re-election this year.

Peterson said his priorities would continue to be the same as when he was a councillor.

“Number one will be growth; whether it's residential or commercial, we need more growth, we need more tax base just like every other community in the north.

“Number two, we need infrastructure, getting our roads and trails up to snuff.”

“Number three is just keeping our taxes in check, making sure that we keep the Wembley advantage by keeping the taxes down so people can afford to live here.”

He said he is excited to step into his new role and has talked with Turnmire, outgoing mayor, for advice.

For now, Peterson will “jump in with both feet, and get the job done.

“I think that's the Alberta way. Just do it.”

Residents will be going to the polls on Oct. 18.

In Beaverlodge, the candidates are incumbents Terry Dueck, Cyndi Corbett, Hugh Graw, Gena Jones, Judy Kokotilo-Bekkerus and Cal Mosher. They will be joined on the ballot by Cody Moulds, Bill Martin and Victoria Hudson.

In Sexsmith, incumbents Bruce Black, Clint Froehlick, Ken Hildebrand, Jonathan Siggelkow, Isak Skjaveland and Dennis Stredulinsky are joined by Daycie Bohning.

In Wembley, incumbents Anna Underwood, Tyrel Johnson and Sean McCallum are joined by Shaun Baker, Robert Berlasty, Alicia McDonald, Tanya Skinner, Becky Ward, Arcacia Wegleitner and Bailee Wills.

Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News

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