Lacombe’s newly elected councillors are both excited and eager about their new positions.
After being sworn in on Monday, Lacombe Councillors Wayne Armishaw, Peter Bouwsema, Grant Harder, Reuben Konnik, Bill McQuesten and Wayne Rempel shared their thoughts on the election, their future plans and council’s new team.
Harder, who was elected to his first term on council with 2,050 votes, more than any other councillor, said he was humbled by the impression he made on voters.
“I was actually kind of shocked that I received as many votes as I did,” said Harder. “I will do my best to make sure I don’t disappoint them.”
Armishaw, who was elected to council after a hiatus, said he is glad to be back in familiar settings.
“I’m really grateful to be back on council. I’m feeling quite energized and excited. You know, time does go fast but that time from 2004 to now just seems much shorter being that I am on council again.”
There is a mix of experience on this term’s council.
Bouwsema and Konnick have been re-elected for a second consecutive term and Rempel for his third.
McQuesten and Armishaw are returning to Council Chambers after a hiatus and Harder has no previous experience serving on council. They all seemed to agree that this is a good mix for the team.
Most said they thought there was a good balance of experience and new blood.
“I’m actually really excited to have this group of people together,” said Rempel.
McQuesten said this balance should mean council will work well together once they have had some time to gel. “I think it’s a good mix. It’s got some maturity there and it’s got some new ideas.”
While council agreed that they have a good team that should be easy to work with, some councillors lamented that the current council has no female representation. Looking forward, there was a theme among the councillors of building on the work of the past councils.
In particular, last term’s council was planning-focused and councillors said it is important that those plans yield some tangible results this term.
Bouwsema said he is eager to build on the accomplishment he made as a part of last term’s council. “I definitely look forward to moving ahead with my knowledge and all the work that has been done by the previous council,” said Bouwsema.
“We’ve done a lot of planning and I think now is the time to act on those plans.”
Konnik agreed. “I’m happy and excited to be back. I look forward to working with my fellow councillors and the mayor in moving the City forward and carrying forward some of the many plans that we have put together over the last three years.”
Some of those plans, like the new Lacombe police station, are already underway. Others, like the Lacombe Memorial Centre, are already completed.
Some of the higher priority projects mentioned by councillors that might receive more immediate attention are the need for more developable land, more infrastructure, a facility such as the C4 that would cater to the arts and the need for greater commercial and industrial business growth in Lacombe.