TISDALE — Mayor Al Jellicoe is uncontested in his re-election as mayor of Tisdale. With few councillors seeking re-election, Jellicoe said he would like to see some continuity around the council table.
Recent projects that have taken place in Tisdale has been the composting project, which was a recent highlight for Jellicoe and a project that he would like to see completed, he said. Streets and water systems are two community issues that need to be addressed on a yearly basis, he said, so it is great to see people wanting to take on those problems at a municipal level.
Tisdale has had a good 10-15 years of focus on these issues, he said, and there are now more good streets than bad streets in Tisdale.
With eight people running for council, Jellicoe is happy to see diversity in the candidates, including more young people and women running for a seat at the table. Jellicoe said they have not had a woman at the council table for the last eight years.
What he would like to see is councillors with business sense because the town does run like a business.
While COVID-19 has been a challenge, Jellicoe said Tisdale is still doing well. He is looking forward to the day when the province and town get back to some normalcy.
Marilyn Baker has been an active member of the Tisdale community for many years and after being on numerous boards and executives, Baker wants to do more, she said.
“I've been involved in the community and [I] just want to be a bit more involved in the process and how things work, and help make them work.”
Tisdale is a great plan to raise a family, she said, and she wants to see Tisdale continue to grow. However, local businesses and the local economy needs help make Tisdale a vibrant and attractive Saskatchewan town.
“We need to bring in new businesses, we need to enable businesses and help current businesses with any expansions they need. And we need to help bring in the labour force. And so I just want to be in the front lines for that... I see myself as someone who takes value in social initiatives and in building a community.”
Even with COVID-19 creating challenges for businesses, Baker said Tisdale has been on the right track for response and business support. Very few businesses have had to close their doors, she said, which is a good sign for Tisdale’s economic strength.
Baker has lived in Tisdale for the past 25 years and has worked at Finning Canada for the past 20 years.
Mike Hill saw a lot of projects get started in his first term as a Tisdale town council member. Now he wants to see the projects continue, he said, as he is running for a second term at the council table.
When he first ran in 2016, Hill said he has always been proud of Tisdale and wanted to be a part of the inner workings of the town.
Work on infrastructure, the water treatment plant, and landfill has made for an enjoyable and fulfilling first term, he said, but there is always more to do with attracting more local business and improving long standing Tisdale businesses.
“I'm pretty proud of what we've accomplished in the last four years. We've seen the new business added to the landscape, and some fantastic upgrades to this community, whether it be new buildings or storefront enhancements.”
While campaigning is going to be tough and he doesn’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable, Hill said he does want to talk with people about their concerns for the upcoming term. Social media is also going to be part of that, he said, but he will be broaching the subject with people he meets in person.
Hill was born and raised in Tisdale and is an active hockey coach, community justice committee, Tisdale Kinsmen Club, and Tisdale Masonic Lodge #76 member.
For Kurt Johnson, putting his name on the ballot for Tisdale town council just made sense.
Seeing four former councillors not run for council re-election, Johnson knew that he wanted to step up himself.
“People need to step up and take their [former councillors’] place. I was approached by some people in town that thought I might be good at it and they know my position in the town.”
Tisdale has been a positive place to raise his kids, he said, and he wants to see it continue to move in a positive direction, especially with COVID-19 causing problems for local businesses across Canada and the world.
“Every business in the world has been affected but I'm more concerned about the businesses in Tisdale and in the northeast.”
There are some projects that are currently on the go that Johnson would like to see come to fruition, including the dog park and seeing how to help make that happen. Johnson has two dogs, he said, and the park would be a great addition to the town.
Johnson has been a business owner in Tisdale for the past 14 years and is active in the community, including with the Wildlife Federation, Community Justice committee, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Rockin’ the Square board.
Johnson will be campaigning via social media and speaking with people about the election but with his job, he already talks with residents on a daily basis, he says.
Adam Lewis has always been a community guy, he said, and he wants to continue doing so as a member of the Tisdale town council.
Lewis wants to give back to the community by being part of council, he said.
Lewis has been a member of the Tisdale Fire Department since 2016, and is involved with the Tisdale Alliance Church youth group, the Tisdale Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron #624, and is a Level 2 volleyball referee and involved in his children’s sports activities.
Lewis has seen growth in the community and he wants to help find ways of attracting people and businesses to the town to see this growth continue.
“I was taught many years ago that for every one person that leaves your community, you have to replace them with two, one to replace and one to grow. If we're not actively looking for businesses to come to town, or try to encourage them to come to town, we're not going to grow, we're just going to stay the same size that we have been.”
Bringing businesses into a small town does not have to be a competition, he said. With Buy Low foods coming to town, they have been a compliment to the Co-op Food Store, he said.
“That's how we need to look at attracting new businesses,” he said.
Amanda Reynolds has thrown her hat into the council ring once again for the 2020 municipal election. She first ran in 2016 and was unsuccessful in her candidacy only by a couple of votes, she said, so she is taking another stab at it.
Reynolds enjoys being part of the community and with her job, she is able to meet and talk with people about local issues.
“I'm very fortunate for that,” she said, “and had a lot of different opinions and concerns brought to my attention. I want to do my best to represent the general population, our whole community.”
Reynolds grew up in Tisdale before leaving for post-secondary education and returned to raise her family. Family has taken precedence over her many years here but Reynolds still found time to be a part of numerous community organizations, including her children’s sports teams, the Chamber of Commerce, and Rockin’ the Square committee. While it was a lot of work, it has also been a lot of fun and a great learning experience, she said. Reynolds said she likes being behind the scenes.
Reynolds would like to push for more female representation on council and is excited to see her name and Marilyn Baker both on the ballot for this election.
Over the 45 years that Howard Saelhof has lived in Tisdale, he has served on many boards and committees throughout his time there.
Putting his name on the ballot for the Tisdale town council is just another way he can give back to the community, he said.
Throughout his time in Tisdale, Saelhof has been a member of the fire department, a chair on the local school board, a member of the Tisdale Lions and various other boards.
Being a potential new council member, Saelhof said he has thought about the different issues that he would like to bring to the council. However, he said he is aware that he would like to know and understand how council works before he can decide his agenda. While it will be a learning experience for learning how council works and how Saelhof can make a difference, Saelhof is excited to learn the ins and outs and is expecting to get a lot of personal satisfaction from helping the community in this way, he said.
Saelhof is expecting to speak with a lot of people around the community about the upcoming election, many people so far who have been encouraging Saelhof in his election campaign, he said.
Brendan Samida is one of two councillors seeking re-election for the Tisdale town council. After returning to Tisdale six years ago, the town council has been the best way he can engage with the community since council members are involved on many boards across the community, including the economic development and the museum boards in Samida’s case, he said.
Being a part of the town council goes hand in hand with being a good community member and a Tisdale-based business owner, he said.
“My focus will remain the same as it did right off the hop, and that's looking if the town can support new business, commercial growth, and any industrial [business]. If we can hit industrial type jobs for our community, that's the base of what we need to do.”
With investments into the wastewater system and the landfill, Samida saidTisdale is ready for a population boost of about 500 people. All of the infrastructure and facilities, like the RECplex, Caleb Village, and the Healthplex are ready for that boost, he said, and any increase to the local industry would help make that happen.
With a bigger population comes a bigger tax base and that means a more manageable tax base, he said.
As a business owner and long time volunteer, Evan Sisson believes that he has a lot to offer the Tisdale town council.
With a background in water, sewer and safety, Sisson said he has a lot to bring to the table.
“I would like to help out the town crew with their safety departments and stuff like that, as well as I would really like to see what plans that the town has for helping our businesses get through this covid pandemic.”
Through Sisson’s work with the volunteer fire department for 20 years, the hockey board for the AAA midget team for the past four years, and his business, Sisson feels he is well known in the community and will not be going door-to-door or similar campaign tactics.
“That's not me, to be honest with you. I'm not a campaigner. Most people know me in Tisdale because I've lived here and run my business here.”
Sisson is excited at the prospects of running for council and having a seat at the table.
Making good executive decisions for taxpayers and business owners of Tisdale is an important goal for Sisson as he waits for Nov. 9.