Council Comment: Looking back to beginning of political career

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Joe Snopek served as a Creston councillor from 1998-2002 and mayor from 2002-2008. After a six-year break

This is a reflection on council over my 13 years of being involved as councilor (1998-2002) and mayor (2002-2008).

I started my political career in 2002 by winning a byelection to replace Andrew Ramage, who passed away. It was the first time that there was an election instead of acclamation.

I was taught Robert’s Rules by then-mayor Lela Irvine. Councils in the past warred on a lot of the issues of the day.

The police station was on a referendum in the same election. Councils have always worked for the taxpayers, trying to solve the issues we faced. Every council spent hours on issues such as police, fire, town works, the rec centre, parks, water, sewer and street maintenance. I congratulate all the councilors over the years that worked so hard on these issues.

I found that being mayor was a learning curve you could not imagine. Don Leben was a new face as mayor, having retired from the Air Force and winning the election over Lela Irvine.

Issues such as the intersection at the grain elevators were discussed in 1998. The Cedar Street crossing was another long discussed issue with the CPR, finally getting it approved without a major outlay of money for crossing arms.

When you look at our town, remember past councilors and mayors who left their mark on our town.

I would like to thank the following for a very interesting start to my political career: Bill Hutchinson (former town administrator), Ed Gatzke, Ed Vondracek, Gerry Van Beers, Bill Pfeifer and Helena White, and Lela Irvine. They were a good group of people to work with.

Joe Snopek served as a Creston councillor from 1998-2002 and mayor from 2002-2008. After a six-year break, he was re-elected to town council in 2014.

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