Radium Hot Springs mayor-elect Mike Gray found out about his campaign victory when the announcement was made at his own wedding on Saturday night.
Gray said it was a unique experience.
“It was a ton of fun, we had so many of our friends and family there. As the results came in from the election, they announced it on stage,” said Gray. “I could not have been with a more supportive and happy crew. It was an experience that will never be duplicated as long as I live.”
Gray’s term will follow the retirement of eight-year mayor Clara Reinhardt.
“Clara has been a mentor for my entire term on council. She’s been absolutely fantastic and is a dear friend of mine,” said Gray. “The past mays have always done their best to leave the village in a better spot than when they started. They certainly set a high mark for me to do the same.”
Gray served as a council member for six years prior to winning the 2022 election.
Gray said the goal for his first term is to update the official community plan, which he said has not been updated since 2013.
“We accomplished many of the things on the list of ways we wanted to grow and develop, and our population has grown tremendously,” said Gray. “It’s time to take a look and readdress the OCP, but it will take us a little bit to get in a position where we’re ready to start making those changes.”
Along with a new mayor, Radium Hot Springs will have three new members on the village council.
Incumbent Dale Shudra will be joined by newcomers Erin Palashniuk, Carey Collin and Christi Fergison-Huston.
“That’s a lot of people to bring up to speed to make sure they’re aware of all the things they need to be aware of before making any big changes,” said Gray. “Fortunately, we’re in a great position where we don’t have anything pressing that needs to be addressed right away.”
Gray said he looks forward to working with the new council.
“Fortunately, we have some great people who have the right motivation for being on council,” said Gray. “They’re people who are there for the betterment of the community and because they love the process. Nobody is there with an axe to grind or anything like that. These positive motivations make for the positive results we’re hoping to achieve.”