Gary Vidal acclaimed as mayor of Meadow Lake
by Phil Ambroziak
Democracy is alive and well in Meadow Lake.
That’s how mayor Gary Vidal feels in spite of retaining the city’s top job via acclamation. While he wishes there would have been at least one more candidate to allow voters an option come the Oct. 24 municipal election, he is pleased to see 11 candidates come forward for the six available council seats.
“It’s kind of a two-pronged thing,” Vidal said. “I’ve always stated I’d like to see more people run because that’s what makes democracy work. At the same time, however, I guess it makes a statement that people are happy with what I’m doing and how I’m doing it.”
The mayor went on to express how excited he is to know so many candidates are interested in seeking the responsibility of becoming a city councillor.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to see so many,” he said. “This is exactly what I was asking for throughout this entire process. This is an absolutely high quality slate of people, and I’m sure no matter what happens Oct. 24, we’ll come out of the election with a high quality council.”
Absent from the ballot next month will be veteran city councillors Richard Reed and Toby Esterby. Reed is moving away from the city while Esterby has opted to put a stronger focus on his business and other community initatives.
“I have specific ideas I want to focus on for the community,” Esterby said in a recent interview.
Those seeking re-election include councillors Jeff Fechter, Annette Klassen, Curtis Paylor and Elaine Yaychuk.
New candidates include former city manager Bruno Kossmann, retiree Angus McDonald, woodroom supervisor Dwayne Mysko, Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure district operations manager Conrad Read, shipping tech Terry Schenk, business owner Merlin Seymour and business owner Layne Shkopich.
In the last (2009) municipal election, there were 10 on the list for council while Darwin Obrigewitsch was acclaimed as mayor.