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Municipal elections will be held in Manitoba on October 22,  2014.

Anyone interested in participating in the many different municipal challenges has until September 16 2014 to add their name to the candidates list.

My name will be submitted for the position of Reeve. We will watch the process unfold.

What do I enjoy about municipal life? Maybe my comments will be helpful.

The most rewarding aspect of municipal life has been the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our residents in the RM of Morris.

Some examples:

  • providing good clean water to all homes and residents in the RM of Morris. This was a major project that was possible only with the support of council, administration and especially our public works staff. The water project took about 6-7 years to complete. About 95% of all rural residents are part of the rural water system. The public works staff adds 3-4 homes to this list every year.
  • establishing a process for municipal drainage maintenance. Council set a process in place with “drainage request” forms that were submitted to our office, reviewed in the winter months and then formally approved a drain maintenance work plan for the following summer. This system works so well that other municipalities have copied the system. All drain requests are considered and we complete about 30 miles of drain maintenance every year. This process would not work without the support of council & administration staff.

There are negatives to municipal life. What is especially difficult is dealing with issues that are largely out of our control but still effect our residents. The establishment of the Pembina Valley Water Coop reservoir just east of Morris is an example. This was not an RM of Morris project but we certainly received comments about the impact on our residents. Council was left to defend a decision that was largely out of our hands.

The PR#23 bridge project east of Morris is another example. Not our project but Rural and Town Council was on the receiving end of many comments regarding this project. The work on the bridge was essential but the impact on our residents is significant.

Finally I offer the frustration of working with CN rail and the complaints our municipal road blocked by trains for extended periods of time. The railroad is not our responsibility but the impact of the blocked crossing was significant for our residents. Council and staff are very quickly reminded of the problem and we are required to initiate an appropriate response on behalf of our residents.

Municipal councils live in the community and are easily assessable. That is both the good and the bad of council work. Our residents expect accountability. Our job as council is to make the best decisions possible on behalf of our ratepayers and residents. Council will be reminded when we fail to meet expectations.

Reeve and council work for you the ratepayer. We are your servant and every 4 years our performance is reviewed. This review takes place on October 22 2014. Your responsibility is to vote.