Eckville Mayor Helen Posti says it will be interesting to see what happens going forward after the new government is formed.
She said the provincial government always has an impact at the municipal level, but for now it is just a waiting game to see what the impact will be, along with what services they are going to provide, what cuts they are going to make, if any, and how they will proceed with the municipalities.
“We won’t know until after the government is formed,” said Posti, adding she thinks Eckville is “very lucky” to have had Jason Nixon re-elected in the constituency.
Posti explained Nixon has been a “really good MLA” for the area.
“One good thing will be now is that he’s part of the governing process,” explained Posti. “It’s hard to be an MLA in opposition, it’s hard to get things across, but I think he did a really good job.”
She says she is looking forward to see what Nixon can do for the area now that he and the UCP provincial government can work together.
Posti also said she would like to see Nixon in a minister position.
“It was absolutely no surprise to me that Jason [Nixon] got back in, I felt that would be happening, but I was amazed by the number of people on the ballot, it was just unreal,” said Posti of the eight candidates who ran in Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre.
She says she thinks the advanced polls and the “vote anywhere” option helped with getting people out to vote, adding she was glad to see they had a voting station at the Eckville Manor House.
“I think probably the most unusual things was it’s been the first time in 35 years that there wasn’t a Social Credit Party that ran and the fact that none of the other parties got any of their leaders in,” Posti said. “That really surprised me.”
“It was a two party race, just like how they had predicted it. It’s going to be the NDP and UCP and that’s the way it’s going to be,” continued Posti.
Posti said a concern of hers coming into this new government is what is going to happen with the ongoing infrastructure grant because it is coming to an end.
“We [the municipalities] want to know what it is going to be replaced with and also because Edmonton and Calgary both got charters and so they already know what their funding is going to be, so we need to know what ours is going to be,” said Posti, adding they don’t want to let their infrastructure go again.
“We’re in an infrastructure deficit and have been for several years,” Posti said. “There was cut backs and things weren’t fixed and now that they are so bad they need to be fixed.”
She said Eckville has been trying to get an upgrade for their water treatment, but feel the money is always given to larger projects.
Additionally, Posti advises residents to not be afraid to ask their MLA questions.
“They’re always there for you, and their office, they can answer and they can help in a lot of ways that people don’t even realize,” said Posti. “You don’t even think about all of those little things that they do… they have a big job, it’s a big role.”