Lake Country’s mayor is ready to get back to the business of running the municipality.
James Baker handily won a third term as mayor Saturday, while incumbent councillors Penny Gambell and Barbara Leamont have been returned to office. Newcomers are Rob Geier, Jamie McEwan Lisa Cameron and Owen Dickie.
“I was hoping all incumbents running would get back in but unfortunately that didn’t happen,” said Baker of Alice Rees and Bill Scarrow who lost their seats. “But I am pleased with the new candidates on council.”
Council will be sworn into office Dec. 6 and the first order of business will be establishing a business plan for 2012.
“We will really have to look at the budgeting process,” said Baker. “We need to increase revenue without increasing taxes. We will continue with good relations with senior government so we can get as many grants as possible (for infrastructure).”
Another focus will be determining public access to the Oyama to Winfield corridor along Wood Lake once the new Highway 97 route opens.
“We need to make sure the community gets as much enjoyment as possible out of that without a lot of cost,” said Baker of bike paths and other amenities.
Baker was challenged by three other individuals for mayor and he says there was significant pressure on voters to elect someone else.
He believes the fact that he will serve another term demonstrates the public’s confidence in the district’s approach.
“It tells us there have been quiet accomplishments. We’ve got things done,” said Baker.
Dickie is the new Oyama ward councillor and he is pleased with the outcome of Saturday’s election.
“There was a clear decision from Lake Country residents to stay middle-of-the-road,” he said. “We will encourage some growth while maintaining some management of it. We need to maintain the lifestyle of our community and neighbourhoods.”
Specifically for Oyama, Dickie’s focus will be the current highway once its abandoned, development and water quality.
“To serve the citizens of Oyama, that is quite a plate to start with,” he said.