Penhold has a new mayor, after Councillor Mike Yargeau managed to defeat the incumbent Dennis Cooper 516 votes to 324 votes.
“Obviously I am thrilled with how it turned out,” Yargeau said. “I had a lot of good people helping me and it went exactly how we wanted it to go.”
Yargeau joins re-elected incumbents Mike Walsh and Sharolyn Sanchez, along with newcomers Shaun Hamm, Shaun Kranenborg, Sharolyn Sanchez, Tyrone Muller and Ken Denson on a new-look council in Penhold.
Yargeau feels Penhold chose him because of his involvement with the community and his four years served on council.
“I think I made the best case to be the mayor,” he said.
Yargeau characterizes this election as very productive and feels that both mayoral candidates and all 13 council candidates ran fair campaigns without resorting to taking the low road.
“It was a tight race for council and the Town is better having gone through this,” he said.
Yargeau praised the 19 years of service Cooper offered to the Town of Penhold and he recognized that many people did vote for his opponent.
“It is important that we carry on some of the work he has done and that we have started together. We should honour the work done in the past,” he said.
The first order of business for the Town of Penhold will be ensuring the mayor and council, which has four new councillors, get acclimated to municipal government. He noted one of the crucial first things council will get to work on is drafting a budget.
“We want to get everyone acquainted with one another and up to speed with some of the things we are working on like our annexation and agreements with Red Deer County. We need to make sure they are ready,” he said.
Building relationships, according to Yargeau, is key in the next term due to the requirements of the new Municipal Government Act – which emphasizes the need for municipalities to work together.
“I have started working on that, during my time as council, working with our biggest partner who is Red Deer County,” he said. “It is important we continue on with that work and I have already spoke to the successful councillors in Red Deer County, as well as the mayor.
“We are ready to get to work together.”
He added, “I would like to thank Dennis Cooper for his service to the Town and running a fine campaign. I look forward to the future of Penhold.”