Residents of Elkford chose district council member Steve Fairbairn to be the community’s next mayor.
Fairbairn won the election with 518 votes (73.9 per cent), while his opponent, council member Mandy McGregor received 183 ballots (26.1 per cent).
“I’m happy and relieved that the election period is over and we can get down to work,” said Fairbairn. “I’m absolutely honoured and thankful for the citizens of Elkford. I look forward to doing my best on their behalf.”
Fairbairn will be coming into the position left vacant by outgoing mayor Dean McKerracher.
He said McKerracher will leave some big shoes to fill after his 17-year-long career in municipal politics.
“Dean and I are friends and we have a great, long-term working relationship,” said Fairbairn. “He’s moved this town along, he’s created a really positive relationship in town and with neighbouring communities. I’m glad that’s the atmosphere I’m stepping into and I’m glad I can continue on with that.”
As Mayor-elect, Fairbairn is looking ahead to continuing the community’s long-term projects, such as the Downtown Revitalization and improving housing availability.
He also spoke about a hopeful solution to Elkford’s health care challenges.
“I see that we will have, at least, partial solutions in 2023. I’m keen to see some stability in our medical services. Then get some doctors and nurses and all of those associated things,” said Fairbairn.
Elkford will also have a council made up of incumbents Duncan McDonald and Len Gostick along with newcomers Shawna Bryant, Jason Meldrum, Tathlina Lovlin and Bert Schalekamp.
“The new council has young people on it, and it’s a generational transition. We were seeing it in our senior staff and now we’re seeing it in our council,” said Fairbairn. “I’m so excited to be part of this transfer from one generation to another. The leadership and ideas that will come from that and the shift in focus that will come in town will be great.”