About 30 percent of Bentley’s population voted this election

Mayor Greg Rathjen says the town is at a developmental turning point

The Town of Bentley’s new mayor-elect by acclamation sees the community as a hidden gem and says the town is at a turning point for development.

Mayor Greg Rathjen will be supported by four new-elect council members Lenore Eastman, Dale Grimsdale, Pam Hansen and Brenda Valiquette.

The Town of Bentley’s returning officer Kathleen McMillin said that this municipal election had a good turnout, with about 30 per cent of Bentley’s population casting a vote.

McMillin said, “The election was well run. Although, people were not really informed enough about the senate and referendum votes.

“We had 306 voters out of approximately 700 eligible voters,” Rathjen said. “We are looking at the future of our community, moving forward and growing. We’ve really not grown very much in the time I’ve been here. But, now we have properties to sell and so we are just looking at all the positive things that we can do to work together as a team.

“We feel we are at a turning point of businesses coming, people moving here, and very close to us is Sandy Point. It’s a huge development and it is only about three miles from town. We didn’t have any property for sale for years, so the big thing was moving forward and getting some property. Now we have a number of plots that are ready to be built on.”

Rathjen has been a Bentley resident and minister at Bentley Community Church for 34 years and has served on town council for two terms. He aims to focus on local strengths and build momentum in marketing local opportunities.

“We are the kind of town that finds ourselves between the two lakes. We’re kinda like a hidden diamond between two lakes,” Rathjen said. “People were afraid when the bypass went in that we would lose a lot of traffic, which we did. But, we now have to market our community and we have a number of unique stores in the community for people that want to shop.”

While COVID posed several challenges in town, Rathjen sees light at the end of the tunnel and appreciates the community’s resilience during tough times. He also plans to focus on the local subdivision and further the project.

“We have a subdivision that we have been trying to get moving. But, when it was opened the town took it on, and just when we were ready to sell lots, COVID hit. So, it’s made it difficult but we are just trying to get that moving,” he said.

“Coordinating communications is the biggest thing.”