High River’s mayor-elect says he knows the road ahead for the flood-ravaged town will be anything but smooth.
More than 60 per cent of High River residents voted in the municipal election, picking Craig Snodgrass as the clear winner for mayor. Emile Blokland, who didn’t run again for the mayor’s seat, was elected as a councillor.
“It just shows the commitment that High River has to the town,” Snodgrass said on Tuesday, a day after the election. “I can’t be more proud of them for coming out the way they did.”
The funeral home owner and political newcomer has lived in High River his entire life. He and the new council will be taking on one of the hardest jobs in municipal politics. Ravaged by June's flood, the southern Alberta town is still on edge with many people and businesses remaining displaced.
“I don't mind wading into the deep end,” said Snodgrass.
Snodgrass says his first order of business will be getting more than 1,000 residents back into their High River homes.
Petra Deines, a High River resident, said the timing of the election was good. "People really want to see change."
Blokland, who will continue to serve on council, took the brunt of residents’ anger during the floods, said Snodgrass.
“There were a lot of successes [and] there are a lot of questions to be answered yet as to how things went, but we will get through that. He is going to have my back. Emile and I have been friends for a long time.”
Also serving on council will be Dragan Brankovich, Cathy Couey, Peter Loran, Bruce Masterman and Don Moore.