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Community votes to keep four incumbents, two new faces added

With 10 names on their ballots, residents of the City of Cold Lake had a choice to make when it came to who would sit on council. On Oct.
The City of Cold Lake had just shy of 2,000 voters take to the polls.
The City of Cold Lake had just shy of 2,000 voters take to the polls.

With 10 names on their ballots, residents of the City of Cold Lake had a choice to make when it came to who would sit on council.

On Oct. 16, 1,814 of the 11,170 eligible voters made their way to the Cold Lake Energy Centre to cast their ballots in the 2017 municipal election.

Incumbents Bob Buckle, Duane Lay, Vicky Lefebvre, and Chris Vining were all re-elected for council.
Mayor Craig Copeland has been acclaimed.

With the most votes out of all of the candidates was Vining, who finished the race with 1,226.

"I am really grateful. I have a lot of support from my family. It feels good to get a strong vote of confidence from the community," Vining expressed. "I'm pretty proud and humbled by the whole thing."

Throughout his campaign, Vining was eager to tackle issues involving youth and seniors, with an emphasis on continuing to grow the community.

With such a strong support, Vining believes it just shows that what council has been doing all along has been with residents in mind.

"I think it also says that there is a lot of support there for the emphasis of things that I put my energy into, which is our youth and our seniors and really making it a livable community for everybody."

As they move forward, the incumbent councillor will be working with both old and new members of council.

"It's going to be an interesting. It's a big learning curve for Jurgen Grau and Kirk Soroka. I'm really proud and happy for those guys that they got in," Vining added. "We will see how it all comes together. It's going to be interesting over the next little while to sit down and do some strategic planning with our new voices on council and see which direction we go. In the end, we're a team and we have to make those decisions together."

With 1,166 votes, Lefebvre has been voted in for another term on council.

"I am just truly honoured and grateful to have the citizens vote me in again. I want to continue working hard for them so that they will be happy with my service," she noted.

Thanking the other candidates, Lefebvre explained how great it was to see so many people interested in running for council.

"I am just looking forward to the next four years," she added.

Lefebvre is also hoping to solidify ID 349, work on regional cooperation, and continue to build on recreation.

"I am just so glad that we can continue on our journey to finish off the things we started. I think it's a message from the citizens of Cold Lake that they like what we did and they want us to work for them again for another four years."

Another incumbent, Buckle will be serving his fourth term on council after receiving 941 votes.

His focus throughout his campaign was securing the ID 349 funding, and seeing projects, such as the Cold Lake Energy Centre expansion and Imperial Park, through.

"I am ecstatic and pleased that the community felt enough confidence in me and my past performance to reinstate me on council once again," expressed Buckle. "I am quite privileged with that and humbled. Four terms, that's going to be 14-years by the time this one is done."

All incumbent councillors running in the election were re-elected.

"I believe that's an endorsement to the vision that council has been working on for the last two to three terms. I think it's a credit to all of the members who have been on council past and present, and the vision, strategies, and initiatives that we have started or completed," Buckle said.

He would like to continue to see the city work towards setting organizing strategies in order to continue down the city's successful path. Before any of that can happen however, Buckle wants to help educate and inform the newcomers to council on the history of some of the ongoing issues within the municipality.

"There's a lot of work ahead of this council at a very critical time for the city. That's what we will be busy working on doing over the next several weeks... to get everyone up to speed."

With 893 votes, Lay will continue to hold his seat on council.

Unfortunately, he was unable to be reached for comment, but during his campaign had emphasized on the importance of ID 349 and ensuring the funding continues for the City of Cold Lake.

Grau finished the race with 1,066 votes in his favour.

He is excited to work on regional cooperation, and continuing to build a strong community.

"I am really looking forward to working with all of the other councillors. I am excited that I have the opportunity to have a little input in the city that I have lived in for 21-years and love so much," he added.

Grau believes voters were looking for more fiscal responsibility, which is one of the reasons why they had checked off his name on their ballot.

"There are things that are missing that should really be done, and there is some spending that a lot of people are questioning. That's something that is a top priority of mine, is to make sure that what we do is balanced and when we do decide to spend, it's for everybody."

As they move forward, Grau would like to see council work together for the betterment of the community.

With a strong campaign message that the ID 349 funding was essential to the continued growth of the community, Soroka landed himself 1,014 votes.

"It's a little intimidating because now I have to perform on behalf of the citizens who put their trust in me. I am looking forward to the challenges and learning and working with the other councillors," Soroka explained.

Soroka believes residents voted for him because they were looking for a fresh perspective on council.

"I also believe they see value added by throwing me into the fight for the ID 349 funding, and to deal with crime."

Over the next four years, Soroka would like to see council focus on ID 349 and combating crime.

"That will help us build time to evaluate the next steps. The direction we are going in is a good direction. I would like to see some reallocation with priorities and that's where I am looking forward to working with the other councillors in determining those over the next couple of months."