Trevor Ellis is well-prepared to be sworn in as the mayor of the Village of Mayo.
Raised in the nearby, but abandoned, community of Elsa, he has a long connection with Mayo. He has sat on council since 2002 and learned as much as he could from the community’s two previous and long-standing mayors, Shannon Cooper and Scott Bolton.
Ellis is also the town’s fire chief and has a day job as the mining recorder for the Yukon government. He knows the ground around Mayo.
His team of local councillors were also acclaimed after nominations closed. There are two experienced incumbents, Blair Andre and Jo-Ann Aird. They will be joined by new councillors Brent Chapman, who is a retired RCMP officer and Simeon Paschuk who provides a younger perspective.
“We always work to find common ground and we work really well together,” Ellis said.
One of the main issues Ellis sees for the community going forward, is aging infrastructure, specifically the water system.
“As far as our water system goes, we’ve had some infrastructure setbacks. We put in new reservoirs that didn’t quite meet standards, so we’ve had to shift and start running our plant a little bit different.
“We need to get those things fixed, repaired, and it’s not anybody’s fault, it’s just the infrastructure is aged.”
He added that the project managers and the engineers with the Yukon government have been fantastic to work with.
“Hopefully we can get that all back up and running in the next little while.” It’s not only the residents of Mayo, but Na-Cho Nyak Dun, Keno City and some of the nearby mines that rely on the Mayo water system working.
Ellis says that they are also working on upgrades to the arena, and lining up some larger water and sewer projects for next summer.
Unlike most Yukon communities, Mayo has building lots available for sale. The Yukon Housing Corporation recently built a triplex in the community and a Housing Initiative funded project will also provide a bit more affordable rental accommodation in the community.
Ellis said there is still a shortage of private sector landlords to meet the demand that is in the community at this time.
“Waste management is an ongoing discussion with YG. And hopefully, we can hammer something out that is beneficial to everyone,” said Ellis.
Ellis also acknowledges Mayo’s recent and tragic experience with young deaths in the town. He says there’s no pattern. “It’s hitting just run of the mill, normal people; these drugs now are so addictive, and the really hard part is that the issues the community’s dealing with right now are really complex.”
He said the town can’t hire people but that they lobby for more mental health workers, and do their best to facilitate activities in the community.
As the new mayor, Ellis has thought long and hard about how to help.
“I think what I would like to see is, maybe take a little bit more of an active role in awareness and prevention. I think we can do that with funding that can help and make it part of a clean living program and provide those opportunities for clean living in the community.”
Lawrie Crawford, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Yukon News