Less than a week after Yorkton Mayor James Wilson announced he will not seek re-election in October, a veteran member of Yorkton Council has thrown his hat in the ring.
Tuesday, sitting Councillor Bob Maloney made his official announcement at City Hall.
Maloney said a run at the Mayor’s chair was something he had considered and when Wilson talked to him informing he would not run again, he decided to make the run.
“James had talked to me,” he said, adding he feels he and the current Mayor “share a lot of ideas.” As a result Maloney said Wilson “asked me if I would be interested.”
It was a case of the timing being right in Maloney’s mind.
“I talked about it with my wife before,” he said, adding he believes he is at the point where he is up for a new challenge.
In terms of his run, Maloney said “I like to think I bring something to the position,” he said.
Maloney, 55, said he sees having Council experience as a key in terms of becoming a good Mayor. He said if one were to become Mayor without some municipal government experience they would face “a pretty steep learning curve.”
Maloney was born in Yorkton, and has lived in the city most of his life, working in the journalism field since 1977.
“I started right out of high school as reporter with the Yorkton Enterprise,” he said, adding he soon made the move to television and has been with the local CTV station ever since.
“I enjoyed newspapers. Newspaper was good for me,” he said, “I learned how to write, a work ethic. I worked with some good people.”
As the local station manager and in management for a quarter of a century, Maloney said that is an asset he brings to being Mayor as well.
“I would like to think leadership,” he said, noting at one time he was managing a staff of 70-people at one point.”
Maloney said he sees the Mayor’s position very much about leading and managing.
“You don’t micro-manage at City Hall,” he said, adding it’s more a role of building consensus in Council.
“I think it requires a person who can mediate … I think that’s an attribute that I have,” he said.
When it comes to working with others, Maloney said the City must work with both the provincial and federal governments. He said the province in particular is critical in terms of funding.
“They have a lot more levers to pull than we do,” he said.
Looking ahead to what will now be a four-year term, Maloney said he sees it being a time to be fiscally prudent.
“We have to do what we can afford,” he said.
That said Maloney knows there will continue to be pressures on spending. He pointed to a Facilities Report which will soon be presented to Council. He said it is obvious a number of facilities need investment.
“We know it’s going to be a scary number,” he said, adding Council will need to address those needs in a step-by-step basis moving forward.
Maloney is currently completing his third term on Yorkton Council being first elected in 2003, having led the polls among Councillor candidates each time.
“I’ve had pretty good support,” he said. “I think I topped the polls all three times.”
Maloney admitted a long career on local television has given him “pretty high visibility,” but added a colleague noted once that high visibility can work both ways in terms of how people views someone.
Maloney said he believes his success is about more than visibility,noting he has been involved in the community on many levels through the years including stints on the Yorkton Chamber of Commerce, Yorkton Film Festival, the Parkland College Board, soccer “and lots of others things,” all of which give him contacts in the community.
Maloney has been married for 36 years. He and wife Dianne have three children.