Okotoks Mayor Bill Robertson dead after battle with cancer

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Mayor Bill Robertson of Okotoks, a town 15 kilometres south of Calgary, has died. (Town of Okotoks - image credit)
Mayor Bill Robertson of Okotoks, a town 15 kilometres south of Calgary, has died. (Town of Okotoks - image credit)

The Town of Okotoks has announced the death of its long-serving mayor, Bill Robertson.

Robertson died after a battle with cancer, the town said in a release Wednesday.

He was 67.

"On behalf of town council, we extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Elaine, their children, Michael, Jeffery and Bradley, and all members of his family," deputy mayor Florence Christophers said in the release.

Robertson served on the town council for more than a quarter century and was first elected mayor in 2010.

He was then re-elected in 2013 and 2017 before announcing this year he wouldn't be running again.

"He was a tireless advocate for our community and contributed greatly to the success of Okotoks and the region over the years," said Elaine Vincent, chief administrative officer for the town just south of Calgary.

"His leadership, warmth, respect and compassion were felt by all who had the opportunity to interact with him."

During his time as mayor, the town grew from a population less than 10,000 to almost 30,000 people.

"Some major milestones during his time on council included the construction of Drake Landing, which was the first solar community in North America, the opening of the Dawgs stadium, the expansion of the Pason Arenas," said the town in the release.

"And most recently, the long-awaited supplemental water solution through the regional water pipeline agreement."

Robertson was previously a teacher, which sparked his passion to engage and support youth during his time as mayor.

"He enthusiastically volunteered to visit classrooms or host groups of students who visited the Municipal Centre, always with a pocketful of Okotoks pencils and pins to share," read the release.

According to the town, flags have been lowered to half-mast in honour of the mayor, and a memorial has been created at the Okotoks Municipal Centre with a book of condolences that residents are invited to sign in person or virtually.