Whoever wins the election to be the next mayor of High River, Alta. will take on one of the toughest jobs in Alberta municipal politics and inherit a long list of flood-related challenges.
Two men, one a councillor and the other a business owner, are vying to be mayor of a town where residents remain displaced, businesses have closed and frustrations are still mounting.
“Well, it sounds like a pretty exciting thing to do right now,” Craig Snodgrass, a funeral home owner and political newcomer, told the Calgary Eyeopener on Tuesday morning.
“If you’ve ever been thinking about being in politics in High River, after what’s happened in the last few months, now sounds like a pretty challenging time and something that excites me to get our town back on the rails.”
Jamie Kinghorn, also in the running, is a 17-year resident of High River. He currently sits as a council member.
"We’ve got a lot of opportunity ahead of us," he said.
"I’m really excited about rebuilding the community.”
Kinghorn, first elected to council in 2010, said he brings leadership experience to the table.
"The mayor's position is a leadership position," he said.
Snodgrass said.a major priority for the town is fighting for flood mitigation assistance from the provincial and federal governments in order to prevent a similar disaster.
“That is the main thing to instill confidence in this community. It’s number 1. Nobody wants to see this happen again. We have to fight for that to get dealt with,” he said.
The town was hit hard by flooding in June and became the focus of national news coverage of the rising flood waters.
About 60 per cent of High River was under water when the Highwood River rushed over its banks June 20, turning downtown streets into rivers and many neighbourhoods into lakes.
High River residents go to the polls Oct. 21.