The RM of Estevan will have votes happening in several subdivisions as part of the Nov. 9 civic election, but voters won’t be going to the polls for reeve.
Terry Keating was acclaimed to the job at the helm of council on Oct. 7, after nobody filed nomination papers to oppose him. It’s a different story from 2016, when he defeated Kelly Lafrentz, who had been the incumbent. Janet Severson also ran for reeve that year.
Keating said he decided to seek a second term because the RM council has accomplished a lot in the past four years.
“We’ve built miles of road and repaired lots (of roads). We just completed a new bridge that we built on the 703 (grid road),” said Keating.
The bridge was a million-dollar project for the RM, he said.
Constructing roads has been a consistent initiative for the RM throughout the past four years. The RM also reduced property taxes for residences two years ago, and kept them low. And earlier this year, council approved a 17 per cent reduction, from 1.00 to 0.83, in its commercial mill rate factors, affecting both commercial and industrial properties.
The move meant a decrease of approximately $500,000 in cumulative taxes payable this year.
Keating says it’s a bit of a relief to get in by acclamation and to not have to worry about a campaign. He has enjoyed being the reeve, and helping the RM modernize some of its operations.
“I feel that we’ve accomplished a lot in that direction,” said Keating.
The RM will have to face challenges in the next four years, including the downturn of the economy.
“New councillors, they can bring their ideas forth. And as a council, we’ll carry on and look at all ideas, and just forge forward and do the best we can,” he said.
There will be at least one new person on the RM council for the next term.
In Division 5, newcomers Tania Hlohovsky Andrist, Mona Dukart and Dakota Michael are vying for a seat that was vacated when long-time councillor Del Block died earlier this year.
Also, in Division 1, incumbent Councillor Lorne Jahn is being challenged by Jeff Mack, and in Division 3, incumbent Councillor Dennis Blackburn will face Kevin Daoust.
The elections for Divisions 2, 4 and 6 will be in 2022.
Keating said he is looking forward to working the next council members. He noted there will be a woman on council, and that has been a rarity for the RM in the past.