The Mayor for Ritchot is back for another four-year term. Chris Ewen has won by acclamation.
"Although we had a bit of an indication that it would be an acclamation, I'm still very, very excited and I'm very passionate about my municipality and I continue to look forward to serve them," notes Ewen. "I'm humbled by the faith that the municipality and residents have in me."
In reflecting on the fact that no one chose to challenge him in his bid for another term, Ewen admits that he does not enjoy winning by acclamation. He says he does not like apathy.
"I really hope that I've done a job where people can trust in me for another four years," adds Ewen. "And I'm hoping it's not because of apathy that I was acclaimed."
Ewen says his biggest concern is that he ends up falling into the role because people think "it is, what it is." That is why he wants to make it clear that people can call, text, email him or do whatever it takes to get in touch with him. Ewen says if the residents of Ritchot are behind him 100 percent, then he is okay with the acclamation.
Meanwhile, also in by acclamation are incumbent councillors Shane Pelletier in Ward One and Janine Boulanger in Ward Four. In Ward Two, incumbent Councillor Ron Mamchuk is up against Jason Bodnarchuk, while in ward three incumbent Councillor Curtis Claydon is taking on Joel Lemoine.
Ewen says Pelletier and Boulanger have been with him since day one on Council and keeping those "seasoned veterans" will be a good thing. And, while having familiar faces is helpful, Ewen says it can also be beneficial when new members join Council.
Ewen has been Mayor of Ritchot since a by-election in 2017 after Council was dissolved due to conflict within the group. Ewen says he believes a level of comfort exists within the municipality today as things have settled down at the council level.
After focusing on economic development during his first five years as Mayor, Ewen says he will now shift his priorities to community safety and recreation improvements.
"I think Ritchot has a lot to offer and now it's time to focus on what we can do for our residents after they are done work," he adds. "When they come home to their municipality, what do we have to offer, it's time to showcase that."
And, even though residents of Ritchot will not be voting for a Mayor this fall, Ewen stresses that there is still an election going on, not only in Ritchot but all of Manitoba.
"I'm an advocate of democracy so I can not urge residents from all over Manitoba enough, in your municipalities, get out to vote, go out there, tell your friends, tell your family, tell your neighbours that voting is so essential," adds Ewen. "If you are happy or if you are not happy, it really doesn't matter you need to vote because that's what the difference maker is. So make sure that you get out and you vote on the election night."