So far, three RM of Portage la Prairie councillors have indicated that they're running once again for their seat on council on October 26th.
Garth Asham is councillor for Ward 1 and deputy reeve, and notes he's putting his hat in for the election again this year. He's one of the two senior members of council who will have served, if he's voted in again, for 20 years.
"We've got a great team and we made quite a bit of progress with the RM of Portage, and I'd like to continue that on my part," explains Asham. "We've kept tax increases very low or nonexistent in some cases in some years, and we have a lot of work to do. It doesn't stop there. We have drainage to do. We have roads to do and our general infrastructure, we are also developing Poplar Bluff Industrial Park."
He explains they're always trying to make their rural municipality better at a low cost to the ratepayers. Asham outlines the committees he's involved with.
"I sit on human resources, land and economic development," adds Asham. "I sit on the PRED board, and am also on the White Horse Plains board, and the Animal Control Committee. As council and committee of the whole, we all participate in general discussion and we all contribute to the team, which is really, really good. If someone has some great points to add, we definitely consider them and nobody is ever shut out. It's just a round table discussion and we all contribute and reach a final destination, kind of deal."
Asham says he stands on his past record for reasons to see him elected again.
"I've served the people well," adds Asham. "In Ward 1 here, I always find that honesty is important. People want their concerns met, but you can't go past the fact that sometimes concerns aren't realistic. You have to be down to earth with them and give people a straight story. Otherwise, people come back and say, 'Well, you said this. You said that.' You give them the straight goods. And I hope they like it. Sometimes they don't, but you're never going to please everybody all the time."
Asham has been on council now for four terms.
"If I get elected again, it'll be up to 20 years," adds Asham. "It's a lot of time, but at the same time, I've enjoyed every minute of it or most. Arnie Verwey's been on there that long. I guess we probably stop there. Arnie Verwey's along with I are the senior members of council in terms of service date, and I've always been in Ward 1. I like Ward 1. I enjoy the St. Ambroise community, Poplar Point, and High Bluff. Those are my areas and we have a large Hutterite colony -- Summerfeld -- here that are very large contributors to the economy of our area. It's good to return back what people like to see done, if you can, at that time."
Tomorrow, we will have another story of another councillor running for election.