CREMONA — The village’s incumbent mayor-elect who was voted back into public office to serve a third term would have preferred to see a bigger turnout.
“To be honest with you, I was a little disappointed with the number of people that voted,” Tim Hagen said on Tuesday, Oct. 19, the day after residents participated in the provincewide municipal election.
“I totally believe in the process. And out of all the people that could have voted, we only had probably had somewhere between 25 and 30 per cent that voted,” said Hagen.
Rudy Friesen, the village’s chief administrative officer who also served as returning officer, said 144 residents from a pool of approximately 400 eligible voters cast a ballot, amounting to more than 30 per cent.
However, Hagen did not attribute the low voter turnout to disinterested apathy, but rather surmised that residents were already confident and content with council’s current direction and therefor did not see a need for change that would have otherwise perhaps motivated them to vote in greater numbers.
“I think council as a whole has done a really good job here,” he told The Albertan.
“There’s no big controversy — nobody was uptight,” he added, suspecting that might be why voters weren’t as engaged as they might have been.
Hagen won his re-election with 80 votes against former two-term council colleague Robert Reid’s 62.
“I don’t think they (voters) seen a big problem with either one of us, really,” said Hagen.
The acclaimed members of council who ran unopposed were Shane Goebel, Bonnie Scribner, Joseph Shi and Terry Thompson.
Moving ahead, Hagen said he looks forward to seeing through the successful completion of the village’s skatepark.
“It’s just about there. They’ve been pouring cement here for a couple of weeks now. So, that’ll be nice for the kids,” he said.
Of course there are also other projects on council’s radar, he said, citing for example a couple of streets that require paving.
“But we got to also look at grants. Being as small as we are, we can’t afford big, expensive paving street projects without grants,” he said.
Other priorities, he continued, include pursuing efforts to further beautify the village’s main street.
Some of the impending work will also involve bringing up to speed a couple of new councillors, he said.
“I’m sure they will be able to handle it in no time,” he added.
Asked whether he might have any words to offer not only supporters who voted for him, but also those who cast ballots for Reid, Hagen said, “I will continue to work hard and honestly, and make sure that we work to get things done that we plan on getting done.”
“I also would like to tell everybody, that if they have a question or concern, they can always call me.”