Mayor Ralph back for another term

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Ralph Leriger will serve another four years as mayor of the Town of Westlock.

Leriger said he is humbled to accept a second term after no challengers emerged on Nomination Day, Sept. 18. In 2013, the mayoral race featured three candidates.

“It’s been a real pleasure being mayor and I’m looking forward to the next four years,” he said.

“It’s particularly gratifying when you get support from the community. I’m extremely grateful for that. It certainly makes it a lot more fun and easier.”

Noting that he was only one vote among seven and that he wasn’t sure who his fellow councillors would be yet, Leriger suggested he would follow the same modus operandi as in 2013.

“The key word is planning,” he said. “I think it’s important that you don’t just say

‘business as usual’ and soldier on. While there is unfinished business, I think the start of the term is the natural time to step back and do your planning. It’s my belief that was one of the biggest reasons we had a successful first term.

“Thinking about your vision, where you want to take the community and what you see for the future.

“That keeps you focused and sends an important signal to your administration. It takes away any possibility of mixed messages.”

While he said he was a bit disappointed with the fact there’s no mayoral race, noting that he had a lot of fun during the last election, he’s looking forward to reflecting on their work and preparing for the next four years.

He said he expected to see more focus on growth in the coming years.

“When we examined our challenges, we felt that growth was the answer to many of those,” said Leriger.

“We have taken steps in that regard, with a new development in the works. We’ll continue down that growth plan for sure, though that will present some challenges as well.”

One area he said he wants to focus heavily on this term is upgrading the town’s infrastructure, specifically surface-water drainage.

And as only seven councillor hopefuls came forward to run for six seats, Leriger says that’s a sign residents are content with the job that was done.

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