Election talks are becoming more widespread as we're inching closer to October 26 when municipalities will be voting on their various positions of leadership.
RM of Portage la Prairie reeve Kam Blight has announced his decision for the opportunity to run again.
"After careful consideration and discussions with my family and my farming partners, I've decided to put my name forward to run for head of council in the RM of Portage la Prairie again," says Blight. "There's always unfinished business when you're on council, and especially in the position that I'm in as head of council, there's a lot of different issues that we're working on as well as projects. One of the large focuses that I've had in the past with this council is working together on economic development in our region."
Blight says he's been quite successful with that area, but there are still some irons in the fire that he'd like to complete.
"We are also working toward improving the infrastructure across the municipality and that's definitely a major issue for myself and for our council," notes Blight. "I want to continue to work at that to try and find ways to improve our network of roads and drainage. And also public safety is a key issue. It's something that I'm very passionate about and something that I've been trying to lead the charge on, not just municipally, but provincially and federally, as well. I've recently been on some federal committees in regards to public safety, and I want to continue to try and bring my voice forward and address some of the concerns that we have in rural Manitoba."
He explains he's surrounded himself with great people at the council and great things can happen with such a setup.
"I've been very fortunate to be able to work with such a wonderful council since I first became reeve in 2010, as well as tremendous staff both at the administrative and public works levels. I've been very fortunate and I think we've seen the municipality come a long way," continues Blight. "It's because of that great working relationship that we have. It certainly does make it enjoyable. We don't always agree on everything, but we're certainly professional about it and we continue to move forward together as a team. And I think that's very important, and once again, I feel very fortunate to have worked with so many great individuals in my term as reeve thus far. And I hope to continue to do that going forward."
Blight notes as reeve, he was able to run for president of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities, seeing as you have to be an elected official to fill that role. He says his plans for running again for that presidency depends on what happens at election time for the RM. He shares more of the value that his position with AMM has served him.
"It's certainly opened my eyes and it's opened a lot of doors for myself and for the municipality, as well, just with having such a great understanding of all the files and all the contacts that we have at AMM," adds Blight. "I've met a lot of amazing people across Manitoba and across Canada. I've been able to work alongside those individuals, and I know it's definitely been a benefit to our municipality and myself. I hope once I get past the election in October, we'll make a decision on what we're going to do in regards to AMM, but first things first."
Blight adds he hopes people pay close attention to the upcoming elections and give some serious consideration to putting their names forward in whatever capacity, whether it be at the RM of Portage or the City of Portage levels.
"I certainly do value the relationship that the RM of Portage and the City of Portage have," notes Blight. "That is something that is absolutely critical to the success of our region, and something we'll continue to work toward. Obviously, there are going to be some changes within the City of Portage la Prairie's council, and potentially the RM of Portage. I just want to encourage individuals to give it some serious thought, talk to their families, and do their research before they put their names forward. It is a very large commitment, but it's also a very rewarding commitment."
He says he feels very fortunate to have had the opportunity to represent the residents of the RM of Portage la Prairie since 2010.