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'Our town is poised for growth and development': Hay River mayor-elect outlines priorities

'I think the biggest thing going forward was that there was lots of momentum with the last council,' says Kandis Jameson, who was acclaimed as mayor of Hay River after Monday's nomination period closed.

Kandis Jameson has 3 priorities: infrastructure, electricity rates, and land development

'The people trust what we've done in the past,' says Kandis Jameson, Hay River's mayor-elect. (Kirsten Murphy/CBC)

Kandis Jameson is Hay River's new mayor elect after being the only candidate to come forward for the job. Residents will be voting between just nine nominees for eight council positions in the upcoming Oct. 15 election.

But Jameson says she doesn't believe residents are losing interest in local politics. "The people trust what we've done in the past," said Jameson, who was born in Fort Smith and has lived in Hay River for the past 40 years.

People are "happy with past performance," she said.

She said one of the possible reasons for the low number of nominees this year is because many incumbents didn't announce their intention not to run until recently. Jameson said people didn't have much time to assess the situation and potentially put their own name forward.

However, she said she is excited about those who have put their names forward. "There is a good cross-section of our community, from young to veterans, business owners, ex-MLAs, retired people, creative people, financial people.

"I have no doubt we can work together for the betterment of our community."

'Poised for growth'

Jameson has been a councillor twice, and served on a District Education Authority for about 17 years, 10 as chair.

She and her husband have operated local business Hay River Disposals for the last 20 years. Her background is in finance, which she did for about 20 years.

I have no doubt we can work together for the betterment of our community.- Kandis Jameson, Acclaimed Hay River Mayor

"I think the biggest thing going forward was that there was lots of momentum with the last council," said Jameson.

"Our town is poised for growth and development."

She has three main priorities: infrastructure, electricity rates, and land development.

Jameson has been working on the electricity rates in the community for years after the community decided not to renew its franchise agreement with Northland Utilities in 2014.

She said that right now the file is in the hands of the community's lawyers so she wasn't able to speak much about its progress, but she did say, "we have spent a lot of work on this file and hopefully we can get it completed and reduce the cost of living to our community."

Jameson expects a resolution soon.

As for land development, she wants to make sure "we are proactive, not reactive."

She said the community needs land available for people coming into the community.

And she would like to get more work done in terms of improving infrastructure in the community. She said some of the infrastructure is "aging out" and council needs to maintain services and prioritize infrastructure.

Jameson will be sworn in alongside elected councillors in November.

With files from Kirsten Murphy and Loren McGinnis

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