OLDS — First-term mayor Michael Muzychka plans to run for re-election in the Oct. 18 municipal election.
Muzychka was acclaimed to the position during the 2017 municipal election when former mayor Judy Dahl withdrew her nomination after serving in that post for 13 years.
“I can officially say yes I am going to run for the mayor position again this fall,” Muzychka wrote in an email. “At this time, because of COVID, I have not filled out my nomination papers or submitted them, but will do so when restrictions allow for it.”
In previous interviews, Muzychka has said he enjoys the position.
Muzychka listed several reasons for his decision to seek re-election.
“I want to run again partly because COVID-19 stalled some of the efforts that our council wanted to accomplish,” he said. “I also think this is a time that we need continuity in our community.”
Muzychka said before the pandemic hit, he had a “very good relationship and lobby effort” underway with the Alberta government and would like to “restart that effort and solidify it after the pandemic is over.”
Muzychka said he believes he and his fellow councillors have had a very successful term and accomplished a lot.
Among those accomplishments, he said, was completion of an updated Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) with Mountain View County. It includes plans to annex three quarter sections of land east of the community.
“This will allow the town of Olds to have a healthy inventory of Industrial Land that will create an excellent, competitive ability to attract new businesses to Olds,” he wrote.
In a similar vein, council has also approved a Municipal Development Plan which lays out how the community will grow over the next five or six decades.
An emergency management plan which Muzychka described as “state of the art” was also approved.
The timing couldn’t have been better.
“This hard work has paid dividends during the COVID 19 pandemic. Communities from all over Alberta have asked us for direction on how to handle this crisis. And the Alberta government has praised our response on multiple occasions,” he wrote.
Also during this term, the town’s police advisory committee was created and the Citizens on Patrol (COP) program was revived.
“This will help improve the safety of our community,” he wrote.
He noted that to address the economy, an Economic Development Secretariat was set up and plans are in the works to create a Business Retention, Investment and Expansion committee (BRIE).
A similar group, known as the Business Attraction Retention and Expansion (BARE) committee was disbanded a few years ago.
"This will centralize the community’s economic development efforts under one roof and make attracting new business much more streamlined,” he wrote.
He said during the past four years, the town improved its relationship with Olds College, Mountain View County, Chinook’s Edge School Division, Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools, the Alberta government, the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, the Rural Municipalities Association, Federation of Canadian Municipalities and others.
Muzychka said he will be laying out a more comprehensive platform in the coming weeks.
“It has been an incredible honour to serve this great community over the past three-and-a-half years and I look forward to serving it for another four,” he wrote.