By Nikki Jamieson
Westwind Weekly News
Newly elected Magrath Mayor Bryne Cook says it feels great to be named mayor.
The acclaimed candidate was sworn in Oct. 26 with the rest of council, and says he follows a “wonderful list of mayors” and looks forward to working with council. Although the mayor hasn’t served on town council before, he believes he can provide the leadership the town needs.
“I love Magrath, and felt that with Mayor Barnett stepping down I might have the capacity to provide leadership we need during decreased funding, and confusing times,” said Cook.
At their first meeting, Magrath town council chose their committee assignments and “got our feet wet” with the first motions and procedures of this council term. Cook noted that six of the seven members of council are new, so they will be facing a learning curve as they settle into their new positions, “a good challenge for our CAO”, James Suffredine.
Other challenges that Cook expects to face include: provincial issues being downloaded to municipalities, such as policing costs and the temporary closure of Magrath’s health lab. The pandemic will also continue to be a challenge for the town, with Cook noting that they will need to be prepared if costs incurred by the pandemic get passed to their citizens by way of decreased funding and opportunities for the town to take advantage of.
However, Cook says the town has a great network of residents they can take advantage of, and great facilities in town for people to enjoy.
“We are looking forward to defining what Magrath is and finding common ground. We’ve got quite a few people that work online or from home and lots that commute to Lethbridge — what resources and ideas can we access from that network,” said Cook. “We have capacity to attract new businesses and a restaurant. We’ve got great recreation facilities so we can expect to see more events and activities in all areas. Watch for a community garden, a community service group and a lot less deer.”