Red Deer County has chosen Jim Wood once again to be mayor, after the incumbent won 2,550 votes.
His opponent, Debra Hanna, garnered 1,240 votes.
“It is always humbling to be elected,” Wood said. “This is the fifth time and it feels really good to be re-elected again and I am excited to work with the new council again.”
Wood will return with mostly the same council, except for Don Church, who lost his Division 3 seat to Dana Depalme by only four votes. Philip Massier and Richard Lorenz were previously acclaimed, while incumbents Jean Bota, Connie Huelsman and Christine Moore all won back their seats.
“I am definitely looking forward to hearing from all the councillors on what they have heard on the campaign trail,” Wood said. “I know what I have heard, we will match them up and see where they want to go.”
Wood said the issue of crime was brought up repeatedly and he said council will look for solutions to the issue.
“We talked quite a bit about it at different forums and we have a lot of work to do lobbying the province. We need to have adequate policing in place to keep our residents safe,” he said.
Wood more than doubled his opponent’s vote total, which he feels gives him a strong mandate from residents.
“I think we have a good plan going forward and will see new growth happen,” he said. “I am very pleased with what we accomplished in the last term. We had phenomenal growth rates in our industrial and commercial areas.”
He added the County will continue to build roads and infrastructure, while sticking to their fiscal goals.
“That has been our policy at Red Deer County for a long time and it has worked well,” he said.
Wood said the goal now is to develop a strategic plan in the next two months, which will set the course for the next four years.
“I am also looking forward to working with all the municipalities in our region. We have a mandate from the province to come up with agreements with everyone on a variety of topics,” he said. “That will be a pile of work for our administration and it will take a lot of meetings with all of our neighbours.”
He added, “We have a good track record of working with our neighbours, which will give us a good foundation to continue on.”