Saturday April 19, 2014

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

  • Have you done your taxes yet?
  • yes
  • 70%
  • no
  • 30%
  • Total Votes: 10






Waddell, Drysdale ready for challenges

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By Kaiten Critchlow Neepawa Press

There’s a new boss in town. Ken Waddell is Neepawa’s newest mayor after emerging from the by-election last Tuesday with a convincing win, gathering over 49 per cent of the total vote in a three-person race. Meanwhile, long-time community volunteer and jack-of-all trades Allan Drysdale grabbed the vacant councillor’s position with almost 57 per cent of the total vote to win a head-to-head campaign against candidate Sheri Grant. Following the by-election, Waddell said he felt voters gravitated towards him because of how he was able to lay out his plans to address Neepawa’s issues. “I think people liked my simple, clean campaign policy,” Waddell, who also served as Neepawa’s mayor from 1998-2002, said. “I think the turning point was the NAC-TV debate (in February). People told me they liked my answers.” His stance on the town’s taxes was one of those well-received answers. Waddell has made it clear throughout the campaign he hopes to steer Neepawa, which he has pointed out as already being one of the province’s highest-taxes towns, away from mill rate and tax increases during the 2012 budget talks currently in progress. After being sworn into office alongside Drysdale last Thursday at 2 p.m., the new mayor said he will be immediately focussing on two other issues as well. “I will be investigating (options) for a new trailer park,” Waddell said. “And I will be reviewing the East View Lodge file to see what can be done there.” Neepawa’s newest councillor has also jumped right into the workload following his by-election win. Drysdale, who is a first-time councillor, has already spent time looking through the handbook and becoming familiar with the issues currently at council’s table. “One of the first big things we’re going to work on is the budget, and we’ll try to do what’s best for the town,” he said. “A big chunk of my work experience has been with the dollar end of things so I think I’ll fit in well with that.” Drysdale, who has said throughout the campaign the biggest asset he’ll bring to council is a “common-sense approach”, added he would like to see Neepawa’s five-year plan expanded through to 20 or 25 years so taxation and spending can be anticipated in the coming years. “And I want to see us build our reserves and plan reserves.” Drysdale and Waddell took part in their first council sitting Monday during a special budget meeting. Their first regular council was yesterday (Tuesday). In the mayoral race, Waddell grabbed 644 votes while former mayor Bob Durston earned 368 votes and former councillor Murray Parrott garnered 297. Drysdale’s 738 votes topped Grant’s 558 in the councillor’s race. The polls saw a 47 per cent turnout. Neepawa’s by-election came as a result of former mayor Ron Forsman’s resignation in early December, 2011, where he cited health concerns as his reason for doing so. Parrott, who was a councillor at the time, resigned his seat to run for the mayor’s position which added a councillor’s position to the by-election ballot. The last regular election was held in the fall of 2010, meaning Drysdale and Waddell will act in their new positions for the remainder of that term.


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