With the 2021 municipal election in the rear-view mirror, Reeve Stan Schulmeister has several goals in mind for the County of Paintearth going into the next term.
Schulmeister was acclaimed back into his seat on Sept. 20 when nominations closed and no one ran against him in his division. He was reappointed reeve, a position he held in the previous council term, in the County organizational meeting held Oct. 26, 2021.
“A lot of people don’t take that big of an interest in municipal politics, and maybe that’s why some don’t run,” said Schulmeister.
“I’m hoping others feel I’m doing a decent job in representing them.”
Goals for the next four years include minimizing tax impacts on ratepayers and working to draw investment into the region. One potential business that has been discussed is a pulse fractionation plant used in pea-cleaning.
“We’re trying to hold the line on taxes, and stir up economic development,” said Schulmeister.
“I’m hoping something like that we can make work in the work in the next four years, that would be huge for the area. Anything that can bring families here is a positive thing.”
Overall, Schulmeister feels that the community at large is supportive of himself, and the council in general.
“I do get quite a few phone calls,” said Schulmeister.
“Most are quite supportive in what we’ve been doing, and what we’re trying to do.”
As for the new council, there was little change from the previous one. Maurice Wiart, who won his seat back in the Oct. 18 in a tight against Dwayne Felzien race was selected as Deputy Reeve in the organizational meeting. Terry Vockeroth joined the council in the Oct. 18 election, unseating incumbent Doreen Blumhagen. Also new to council is Sandy Shipton, who was acclaimed into her seat with the retirement of outgoing councillor Tyrill Hewitt. The remaining incumbent councillors were acclaimed.
Regardless of who is sitting at the council table, one lesson that Schulmeister has learned in his time on council is that regardless of one’s opinion, councillors must support each other.
“It was made very clear by the Brownlee lawyer (in orientation) that you support what the group decides,” said Schulmeister.
“You have opinions, but if you are voted down on it, you support what the group decides. There is some you can accomplish, but lots that you can’t. The province carries the big stick on a lot of this … It’s hard to change things all by yourself.”
During the next four years, Schulmeister intends to be as transparent as he can be to the ratepayers, while being as responsible as possible with tax-payer dollars.
“We have really nothing to hide,” said Schumeister.
“Maybe that’s the conservative side of me, to keep spending in check, to a point, but if there are projects that can help the community or the county any amount, we have to look at it. It’s somewhat our job to get out there the best that we can.”