Four new first-termers will be part of town council for the next four years including Jack Brewin, who shared the vote lead with the most seasoned councillor left at the table — incumbent Randy Sparks, as each received 1,182 votes, which made for 19 per cent of the total vote.
“I feel very honoured that the people of Taber stand behind me for what I believe in. I feel privileged to represent the people of Taber,” said Brewin.
Brewin admitted his interest in council started about two years ago when he did not necessarily agree with how the town ran. But instead of just being a coffee-house complainer, he whipped up the courage to be part of the democratic process and ran for office.
“I was hoping to make a difference and had the opportunity to run and I’m proud to be able to represent the people of Taber,” said Brewin, adding he is looking forward to building positive bridges with both incumbents and new councillors to push Taber into greater prosperity. “We have to work as a team and figure out how to make it work for progress for Taber. We have to make things happen and not just sit back and watch things happen. We are the decision-makers in town and we have to make it happen.”
All through Brewin’s campaign he maintained he had a lot of questions he needed to find answers to. He doesn’t know all the answers, but will have the courage to ask the questions.
“I want to get to the bottom of all the answers. I feel strongly, that we as a council and as a team, that we can find those answers,” said Brewin. “I appreciate everyone that ran and I feel honoured to be part of council.”
Veteran incumbent councillor Randy Sparks was humbled to hear his swell of support.
“It makes me feel good people have confidence in me and confidence in what I have tried to accomplish in the past. It feels good that people have trust in me,” said Sparks. “I’ve always believed everyone in town should be treated the same. We all have a stake in this town and I like to hear what people have to say with what their wants, needs and desires are and go from there. I love the town of Taber and I’m proud to call it home and I feel I have a responsibility to make sure the people’s voices in town are heard.”
Being the most seasoned individual left on council, Sparks added he will look to help in anyway he can, as far as process goes, to any of the four new councillors making their way to council chambers.
“I hope I can be a help to the new guys because it will be a steep learning curve for some of them. I’ve had a couple of them in the process running for council phone me and ask me what they can expect if they got on council,” said Sparks. “The demographics of this new council are wide and varied and we will carry on and do the best that we can.”
The youngest councillor winning a seat was Rick Popadynetz who garnered 978 votes at 15.7 per cent. Entering his second term in office, that second term will be very different than the first with so many new faces.
“It was harder getting re-elected than it was getting elected. This was a little more stressful being after three years I put a lot of heart and soul into council,” said Popadynetz. “It’s interesting because last election I had a group of councillors who had all been there before last term. There are five people who are first term on council. I’m looking forward to the challenge and it should be interesting. It’s a new group of people with a new face to the town. We have four years to make some positive headway and we are all from different walks of life with different age categories. Everyone who ran it was very fair and a very civil race and I enjoyed the procedure. For new town council, get ready, because we are going to go getting focused on Taber’s future.”
Laura Ross-Giroux was one of the newly elected Town of Taber councillors. Simply put, how does Ross-Giroux feel about being elected as a new town councillor?
“Pretty darn nice. It was a hard-earned victory I think, a lot of work went into it,” said Ross-Giroux, who ran in the last municipal election but was defeated.
“I came in dead last, so this is certainly an improvement,” joked Ross-Giroux.
Ross-Giroux added the campaign leading up to an election night victory was quite interesting, to say the least.
“There were a lot of different people this time but I think what really helped was the forum. A lot of people came out to that and there was certainly a lot more interest in town this time,” said the newly elected councillor.
“I think the turn out for the vote sure showed that.”
Taberites were ready for change, said Ross-Giroux, and residents are worried about the economy of the town.
“The new slate includes, it’s mostly business men pretty well. I think we might see some change in that area or hopefully some change,” said Ross-Giroux, adding with a new mayor and a predominantly new council it should be interesting to see what direction Taber goes in.
“I think the citizens have given us a mandate to really improve the economy and take things in a different direction. Hopefully, their faith is not misplaced in us.”
When candidates seek a seat on a town council, they do so with the intention to make worthwhile contributions to their respective communities.
“We’re going to do our best. We don’t go into this not wanting to contribute something to the community. We’re all very community-minded and I think this council’s going to be very receptive to what the community’s going to be asking of us in the next four years,” said Ross-Giroux.
Other councillors steering the direction for Taber over the next four years are Joe “Luigi” Stojwas with 1002 votes and Andrew Prokop with 912 votes.