INNISFAIL – Gavin Bates had a special task for himself when he went to town hall on Aug. 16.
Before entering the council chamber for the biweekly Agenda & Priorities meeting, the two-term town councillor filed his nomination papers for the Oct. 18 general municipal election.
The 70-year-old retired corporate executive then went to the meeting, on time as usual, and near the end of it, possibly the shortest council meeting since he was first elected in 2013, he “let the cat out of the bag” for the public to know he’s “all in” for the community and will run for a third term.
“It wasn’t really a huge cat out of the bag. I’ve had quite a few people ask me over the last two months, three months,” said Bates, adding he’s proud of the community and the accomplishments made by council during the current four-year term. “I am all in. I am fully committed with adequate time, and really, I have no conflicts of interests or even potential conflicts of interests.”
Bates, whose energy and enthusiasm for the community is boundless, also looks at his septuagenarian status as being beneficial. He proudly notes his multi-generational family connections, and others around him.
“I am connected directly to three generations by family, and my neighbours next door are good friends and they have little children and I talk to them all the time. I know their interests. I even sharpen their skates,” said Bates.
With a new council being elected in less than two months Bates confidently feels he has a lot to bring to the table for the community to move forward in the next four post-pandemic years.
“I think I am analytical. Through my entire life, my engineering training, my entire career of working has been problem solving and decision making and people management,” said Bates. “Even with the two council terms that I have served I have worked with 11 other council members, and I’ve learned from everyone of them, and they’ve learned from me.
“I don’t have any pre-conceived agendas. I never did,” he added. “We will have so many things coming up, and we’ll have a lot of initiatives that will float forward. We will see those through.”
As for the biggest challenge the next council will have? Bates believes it will be the financial management of “competing issues.
“We have to balance, whether its recreation or facilities. We all know we have an aging pool. All of those things have to be balanced with the necessary upkeep of the town,” said Bates, adding funding from senior levels of government is another challenge as that support will be less.
“I think we are in a very good position and it will be up to all of council that agrees or disagrees, and we will guide that forward, and hopefully I am fortunate enough to get re-elected and be part of it.”