There are two new faces on Red Deer City council.
Michael Dawe and Vesna Higham secured seats with Dawe receiving the highest number of votes at 12,229. He said he is overwhelmed and appreciative to have seen such strong support from the community.
“I’m deeply humbled and I just feel a tremendous gratitude to the support I got from the community, but also to all my volunteers who helped me and how hard they really worked to make tonight possible,” he said.
Dawe set up shop in Hudsons downtown Red Deer as votes came in Monday night.
He said he realizes that tonight is just the first small step as the hard work is just beginning on council, grappling with the issues, listening to what people want for the community and working with Red Deerians as a whole to make the City a better place.
“There are problems, but we need to look for solutions and do what’s best for the whole community.”
Going forward, he said he’d like to find new innovative ways of tackling the problems such as crime, but also tackle them in such a way that include what the community thinks.
“I think sometimes we get carried away and we say, ‘Well we need to do this and we don’t really care what the public thinks.’ We have to care what the public thinks because that’s why we’re here. We’re here as representatives,” he said.
“The voters of Red Deer expressed such support for me, but also incredible gratitude to the group of people who really made it possible because I had a really wonderful set of volunteers who just worked their hearts out and I think they helped do it.”
He said overall her’s very humbled and overwhelmed at tonight’s outcome.
“This is my home. I only want to have a very successful Red Deer.”
Meanwhile, Higham said she feels honoured to be re-elected, first having served one term on City council from 2001-2004.
“It feels absolutely terrific. I am totally humbled and so grateful to the residents of this City for the trust they have placed in me by this wonderful mandate.”
She added she is looking forward to getting to work in her new role.
“There’s no question the top order of business is to address crime and the opioid addiction in our community. The two are connected and need to be addressed with a multi-pronged approach and it we have to hit the ground running on that issue. The people have clearly spoken on that one.”