Esterby to run for mayor

Councillor Toby Esterby, "I'm running."

By Ben Ingram

Meadow Lake coun. Toby Esterby has emerged as the first to confirm an intention to run for mayor in the coming by-election this September.

Jeff Fechter and Curtis Paylor have both said they will not be running, while councillors Elaine Yaychuk and Annette Klassen are both undecided, with Klassen admitting it will be very unlikely that she runs.

Of the six current councillors, only Richard Reed was unavailable for comment.

“I’d kind of like to see the continuation of what we’ve been working on to this point,” Esterby said, describing what he’d like to accomplish if elected.

“I think it’s important that we have someone at the helm that has a knowledge of the challenges over the last few years that we’ve faced as a city,” he said.

Esterby said he wants to work towards a 15-year infrastructure plan, to get the city into a position where it’s preventing issues rather than responding to them.

“Right now, we’ve got these massive infrastructure projects ongoing and a lot of them are, unfortunately, reactionary decisions rather than preventative,” he said.

A lifetime Meadow Laker, Esterby said he was encouraged to run by friends, family and people in the community he’s worked with.

“The coffee row pretty much has it figured out that I’m running,” he said when announcing his candidacy.

Coun. Yaychuk said that any potential bids for the mayor’s chair will have until July to come forward when asked if she intends to run, a definite possibility.

Fechter said he had an interest in the job, but like coun. Klassen, he simply doesn’t have the time for such a commitment.

For now, Esterby stands alone.

“Right now I’m talking to people one-on-one and just letting them know that I am going to be throwing my name in the hat,” he said, adding that he intends to obtain the support of people individually at first.

Esterby said he’ll benefit from having a summer full of involvement on various projects and committees, where he’ll be able to speak to people and answer their questions.

“We’ll see what it all shakes down to in August and September,” he said.

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