Meet the candidates for Nipawin mayor

Three candidates are running for the mayor's chair in Nipawin: Laura Nycholat, Marlon Zacharias and Brian Starkell.

Laura Nycholat is the owner/operator and executive of Rise Up Community Foundation and coaches governance leaderships teams to improve organization effectiveness within federally and provincially regulated environments specializing in change and project Management. She has a bachelor’s in international business and is a Certified Human Resource Professional in good standing.

She believes she knows how to drive positive change and wants to work with the public to re-direct the use of policy and bylaw(s) in a way that drives the town's vision statement within its strategic plan: A Town for the People (warning: .pdf).

Brian Starkell is retired and is a long time resident of Nipawin for 19 years. He was the Nipawin Fire Chief and Starkell served on the Village of Codette council for eight years and says with his administration experience he has developed he has wide range of skills that allow him to fulfill the duties as mayor.

Starkell is the president of the Volunteer firefighters of Canada and the Saskatchewan and Manitoba representative for Canadian Fallen firefighters.

Marlon Zacharias is a father and a small business owner in Nipawin.

"I bring 15 plus years of upper-level business management experience."

He has also served on the Nipawin & District Chamber of Commerce for five years, including two years as the president. He’s attended a governance training program in 2016, and has experience working with all three levels of government.

“I have a truly vested interest in the growth and success of our community, when the community succeeds, we all succeed.”

Nycholat’s priorities involve a 30, 60 and 90 day plan. Nycholat said she plans to better position the chief administrative officer and town office to govern policy and bylaw that drive the town for the people vision.

Her other priorities are to re-invigorate committees to dig into big issues and get things done with no surprises and unreasonable delays. Nycholat plans to offer constant cadence of communication that informs and creates open dialogue in a positive way.

“Strong leadership and communication skills combined with the ability to work well with community partners is paramount. I believe honesty, integrity and the ability to be accountable for the decisions we make will be a major part of my personal goals in what makes a good mayor.”

Starkell said he intends to continue to build an inclusive community for all residents by focusing on economic development in order to attract new businesses, promoting tourism by showcasing our local attractions and the beauty of our community to further contribute to our local economy, and effectively maintaining and building strong and positive working relationships with other municipalities.

In addition, he said he will prioritize crime reduction and funding through grants, partnerships, and other stable financial streams.

“As mayor, I will demonstrate and exemplify the professionalism, transparency, honesty, respect, and open-mindedness required to confidently lead and ensure that standards and quality of services are met. I commit to actively listening to you, the residents of Nipawin, and council members, in order to encourage and support positive change for our community.”

“I have surveyed more than 100 individuals,” Zacharias said. The priorities for Nipawin are very clear. Crime is the No. 1 concern among almost everyone I have spoken to. Following that the next two concerns are economic activity and growth followed closely by transparency between council and the community.

“Strong leadership and communication skills combined with the ability to work well with community partners is paramount in being a good mayor. I believe honesty, integrity and the ability to be accountable for the decisions we make will be a major part of my personal goals.”

The Nipawin Chamber of Commerce is holding a mayoral forum on Wednesday, Oct. 11 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Nipawin Seniors' Hall.

“We welcome any questions, if someone would like to submit questions prior to the forum,” said Lisa Suchlandt, executive director for the chamber.

The chamber will have question cards at the event and will be collecting them throughout the forum. Questions will be read out by the moderator.

A notice of poll has been advertised by the Town of Nipawin and a special poll will be held at Pineview Lodge for residents and hospital patients only on Thursday, Oct. 5 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Advance poll will be held at the Nipawin Town office on Thursday, Oct. 12 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and the regular poll will be at the Evergreen Centre on Wednesday, Oct. 18 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Mail in ballots are also available for residents who are unable to vote in either the Advance Poll or the Regular Poll. Contact the Town Office for details. Mail in ballots must be requested prior to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 3.

Nicole Goldsworthy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,