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Resolution to elect mayor for first time
Northern News Services
Published Monday, December 7, 2009
"It's a new government structure so there's a lot of interest out there," said Tausia Kaitu'u-Lal, senior administrative officer with the Deninoo Community Council.
There are six candidates for mayor and 15 for the eight seats on council, although five people are running for both.
The separate election for mayor is the result of the switch to hamlet status.
Under the settlement designation, a councillor was elected as chairperson and was often referred to as mayor.
There are six names on the ballot for mayor - Angela McKay, Elizabeth Ann McKay, Dave Pierrot, Raymond Simon, Wilfred Simon and Robert Sayine Sr., who is chairperson of the outgoing council.
However, at least one candidate - Raymond Simon - tried to withdraw his name from the election.
Simon said he missed the Nov. 12 deadline by one day.
When contacted, he declined to comment further on the election.
News/North repeatedly tried to contact all mayoral candidates for comment, but reached only Raymond Simon, Dave Pierrot and Wilfred Simon.
Pierrot, who was mayor from 2001-2002, said he would like to see more openness with Deninoo Community Council, in such things as advertising job openings.
"I want to see people's voices heard," he said. "It's only certain people who are heard, a select few."
Pierrot also wants to make sure that people understand the switch of political status from settlement to hamlet.
"I don't believe it's clear to a lot of people in this community," he said, adding the new mayor and council will also have a lot to learn.
The 45-year-old Pierrot, who was previously an oil patch worker in Norman Wells and Alberta, is currently taking a course in heavy equipment operation.
In November, he was also elected to a four-year term as a councillor with Deninu Ku'e First Nation.
Wilfred Simon, who previously sat on Deninoo Community Council, said he is running for mayor because it needs to change.
In particular, he said community services - such as snow clearing, water delivery and road maintenance - need to be improved.
"I've seen some things in our services that are not going good," he said, pointing to the state of the community's roads, in particular.
Simon said with hamlet status comes more funding, and the community could consider paving its streets in a few years and may be installing water lines sometime in the coming years.
"We have a chance to really beautify the community," he said, adding a hamlet can pass bylaws dealing with old rundown buildings and upgrading the beach.
Simon said the community could also use a dog control officer.
The 54-year-old is a community wellness worker with Deninu Ku'e First Nation.
The 15 candidates for council include the five people running to become mayor, with the exception being Raymond Simon. The other candidates are Garry Bailey, Gordon Beaulieu, Leonard Beaulieu Sr., Carol Ann Chaplin, Warren Delorme, Freda Elief, Amy Miersch, Brandie Miersch, Bill Norn and Patrick Simon.