Two candidates to run in town council byelection

At least two Rimbey residents will vie for a position on town council in upcoming byelection.

Ben Nesbitt (left) and Brian Godlonton

Ben Nesbitt (left) and Brian Godlonton

At least two Rimbey residents will vie for a position on town council in upcoming byelection.

Ben Nesbitt and Brian Godlonton have both announced a decision to run for council.

Nesbitt, who grew up on a farm south of town and completed his schooling here, has a strong attachment to the town.

“My grandparents from both sides all lived in Rimbey and I understand how important it is to listen to the seniors and learn what their needs are.”

However, keeping young people here is also important and the key to keeping the community alive and vital, he said.

“I would like to see us attract new families and bring more new people in.”

Nesbitt would like to see council focus on developing more activities for young families.

“If the kids aren’t happy it gives the parents more incentive to leave.”

Nesbitt who has been a member of the Rimbey Volunteer Fire Department for several years said he is an extravert who enjoys making a difference in a positive way.

“I enjoy talking to people, listening to their concerns and helping them if I can.”

Nesbit worked for Rimbey TV for 10 years and is now employed by Platinum Communications as a field technician.

Keeping the line on spending is also important to Nesbitt, who expressed some concern over the money council spent for a consultant.

“There may have been a better way to deal with that situation. We’re not Edmonton. We’re not Red Deer.”

Nesbitt and his partner Liberty Matthews are expecting a baby in January.

The declining business community has prompted Brian Godlonton to step up to the plate and run for council.

“I keep looking at those empty buildings and it scares me.”

However, Godlonton believes Rimbey has great potential as a community.

“It has been here for a hundred plus years for no reason,” he said.

The hospital and longterm care centre are primary examples of the positives the town has to offer, he said.

“Not too many communities have a hospital like we do,” he said.

Good schools, Pas Ka Poo Park and the truck museum are other assets the town can take pride in,” he said.

Godlonton is originally from southern Saskatchewan. He came to Rimbey in 1995 when he managed the Fields store. He was transferred to Cranbrook, B.C. in 1996, but returned in ’98 and went to work for Longvista Transport in Ponoka. In 2012 he was hired by Rimbey Co-op as petroleum manager.

Godlonton has two adult children, Geoff, who is attending NAIT in Edmonton and studying carpentry engineering and Kim who is a stay at home mom living in Ponoka. He has two granddaughters.

Godlonton is a director with the Rimbey Historical Society and Rimbey Fish and Game Association and is chairman of the board of directors for Kasota East Camp, a summer camp for children.

He and his partner Janet Burghardt enjoy living in Rimbey.

A byelection is to be held Oct. 6 at the Peter Lougheed Community Centre from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

An advanced vote is to be scheduled which has been tentatively scheduled for Sat. Oct. 4 at Parkland Manor at a time yet to be determined. An institutional vote for extended care residents will also be held at the extended care facility of the Rimbey Hospital. The date and times of the institutional vote is yet to be determined.

Mayor Rick Pankiw said he is pleased to see advance polls set up at long-term care as six residents had complained after the previous election that they did not have an opportunity to vote.

Council has allocated $3,000 from the unrestricted surplus to cover the cost of the byelection and CAO Lucien Cloutier has been appointed as the returning officer.

The vacancy on council came up when Einar Olsen stepped down as a councillor as he was no longer a Rimbey resident.9