Neepawa voters elect de Groot as mayor
By Eoin Devereux and Kate Jackman-Atkinson
The Neepawa Banner
The voters in the Town of Neepawa have spoken and said it's time for some new blood in municipal leadership, electing Adrian de Groot. De Groot won the mayoral race over Bob Durston.
The unofficial results from the election on Oct 22 saw de Groot receive 851 votes, compared to 288 for Durston.
Having moved to the community last October, de Groot is a newcomer to Neepawa, but not to municipal politics. He spent close to three decades as a councillor in his previous home of Thompson. Much of de Groot's campaign focused on his status as a newcommer.
"I think the statement that has been made is that people resonated with what I was saying. That they see a new direction was required. And I heard that over and over and over again that it wasn't about the same old. It was about something new. I'm really excited about the decision the public has made to back me because I'm going to need that support. I told people that it's not about just the election, but post election as well and the action we take from here. There are a number of things that need to be done," said de Groot.
As for the first order of business now that he's been elected, de Groot said, "There are several issues that require attention. Some of the things that we need to do is set some new direction. We need to reevaluate our goals. Also, the procedural, organizational makeup of council needs to be looked at. Those are my top priorities at this stage. Set the stage for future growth. How do we grow our community?"
Durston said that he felt he had a vision to contribute to the community over the next four years, but noted that the people have spoken. He served for two terms as mayor, from 2002 to 2010, and for 21 years as a councillor in Neepawa.
The rest of Neepawa's council was acclaimed follwing the end of the nomination period and will include: Jody Baker, Jim Cockburn, Dean Dietrich, Isobel Jarema, Murray Parrott and Bill Stillwell.