In preparation for the municipal election Wednesday, Oct. 24, Yorkton This Week asked each of the candidates for mayor to supply a brief biography, and some information on why they are seeking election.
In addition YTW supplied the candidates with a series of three questions, and asked that they answer each in 300-words, or less.
The responses to those questions follow as well.
Richard Genaille is 27-years-old, and is going to the parkland college for some upgrading.
Bob Maloney was born in Yorkton, a full time resident since 1971. He is the station manager at CTV.
The questions …
Why have you decided to seek the position of Mayor?
RICHARD GENAILLE: I believe I can make a difference for all ages. And I want to prove it by being for the people.
BOB MALONEY: The decision to run for mayor was an easy one. I have served three terms on council and feel it’s important for a city to have experienced leadership and a person that is committed to represent Yorkton. I have always been involved in community groups and have a lot to offer the office of mayor. The city of Yorkton is a great place to live and raise a family because of the people who live here. Our volunteers and community groups are without peer in Saskatchewan and it would be an honour to be elected to represent them.
What particular skills and strength do you believe you possess which will make you a good mayor?
RICHARD GENAILLE: I’m a quick thinker. I can be very creative about anything and everything. I know when something will help the community and when it is bad for the community. I can and will give the people what they want.
BOB MALONEY: A mayor has to be a person that must lead by example, stay calm in negotiations and be able to listen to concerns of groups and individuals. I have extensive experience in contract negotiations and managing a business, and have worked with many community groups including the Chamber of Commerce, Film Festival, Parkland College and Soccer Association to name just a few. I have a proven background in the community and have worked hard to make our city a better place for all residents to enjoy. I have the energy and experience to get the job done.
What do you see as the role of Mayor in Yorkton?
RICHARD GENAILLE: I see me being the voice of the voiceless.
BOB MALONEY: A mayor is the first point of contact in a community for pretty much everything. Whether it’s negotiating with business, the provincial or federal government the mayor’s office is where things begin. The mayor keeps council informed of issues and concerns in the city, and is the liaison between the elected officials and city administration. The mayor is also the person that people in the community can talk to about issues that affect them and the kind of city they want to live in. Being a good listener is an important attribute. Cutting ribbons and making speeches are important for a mayor, but the real work is in committee meetings and strategic planning.
What do you see as the biggest issue facing the City and its Council over the next four years?
RICHARD GENAILLE: Safety and better roads and sidewalks. More places for the youth to go so they don’t get into trouble.
BOB MALONEY: Yorkton is growing at a pace that we have never seen before. Council has been planning for that growth and two recent annexations have ensured that we will have the space we need for future expansion. As a city we will be investing in infrastructure to meet the demands placed on our community by new residents and business. Growth always comes at a price, but in recent years our council has managed to keep tax increases linked to inflation, and that has kept our tax hikes among the lowest in the province. As mayor I would work to make sure we maintain that position. To make that happen we have to work hard on our three to five year plan and make the right decisions on costly infrastructure.
Do you have one key project, or goal you hope to achieve in the next four years, if elected?
RICHARD GENAILLE: I want to help the City of Yorkton achieve greatness within the people and the community.
How? By doing what the people want, not what I think will help but what the people know will help.
BOB MALONEY: There are a number of key projects on the horizon, but as a board member with Parkland College I believe the growth of the college and the establishment of a Trades and Technology Centre will be a huge addition to Yorkton. Colleges build communities and the residents of Yorkton and area deserve more educational choices for their children. The city will be building new water and sewer lines and improving streets and roads, but keeping young people in our city will be a key to our growth. Just think of the impact of one graduate starting a business and growing the local economy. You don’t have to be a genius to see the long term implications for our community. Engaging local residents and our provincial government on the importance of this initiative will be critical.