We expect that Monday morning's announcement by Coun. Roy Ludwig that he is going to take a run at the city's top elected position will trigger a reaction from several other incumbent councillors, wanna-be councillors or mayoral candidates within the community.
We understand that the decision to seek the top job does not come easily since being the mayor of a city the size of Estevan is pretty well a full-time position these days and outgoing Mayor Gary St. Onge could attest to that fact. It's not quite there yet, but it's pretty close, which means that taking this job on requires a lot of commitment.
Also, what is not being lost on incumbents and potential candidates is the fact that this commitment is now a four-year stretch, not three years as it has been in the past. Recent legislation has fixed the terms of office at four years in Saskatchewan.
Granted, potential candidates for council and for school board trustee positions still have the summer to contemplate their next moves, but with Ludwig having set the stage, the campaign gun has been fired and those perhaps wanting to make the challenge will probably have to reach a decision soon since every week that they choose to dither gives the already declared candidate(s) an advantage.
Quite frankly, we will be very disappointed if there isn't a healthy list of candidates for all of these roles.
It serves a community well if there are strong choices to be made not only for mayor but also for those six council positions and two local spots each for the public and Roman Catholic school divisions that conduct their business in the city.
With the Ludwig announcement this week, we should now expect a series of announcements to be made by those interested in earning a place at the council table. Since there are only four months remaining between now and election day, it could be a lively summer of discussion and debate.
Some councillors and trustees have already tipped their hand indicating that they are going to seek re-election, or are bowing out after putting in their years of service, but so far, no formal confirmations. In fact, those bowing out may do so without any formal exit announcement. Their lack of activity on the campaign front will be enough to signal their decision.
Unlike federal and provincial campaigns, civic electoral chases are usually kept low-key and polite since they are not geared to represent any particular political party or philosophy. But we should expect some spirited confrontations on the campaign trail nevertheless because there are a number of issues that require the attention of elected representatives both at the civic and school board tables.
To date, all we know for sure is that at least one seat at the Estevan city council table will be up for grabs this fall with Ludwig creating that vacancy by expressing his intention to make a run at the top job.
The starter's gun has been fired. We hope there is a strong response from the competitive runners.