Two familiar faces in local politics, former councillor Laura Morrissette and former school board trustee and former police officer Dana Pretzer, have both announced their intentions to run for Weyburn’s city council.
Morrissette served on council from 2012 to 2016, and then was not re-elected in the 2016 municipal election.
“I knew I would take another run at council at some point,” she said in an interview. “I would really like to make my way back to council for 2020.”
She enjoyed the committee work she did while on council, and hopes if she’s elected, she might be able to serve on some of them again. One she particularly was for Communities in Bloom, which the City has gone away from in the last few years.
“I think it’s something council should promote. I’d like to see Weyburn put back in the competition,” she said.
In terms of issues, Morrissette said she doesn’t have a vested interest of any kind, but wants to represent the voice of a working parent on council. While there are no women on council currently, it isn’t a driving reason for her to be running, although she admits she’s been hearing a lot of comments about it.
“I feel I can bring a different perspective to council, as someone who just works in the community and is trying to make their way and raise a family here,” said Morrissette.
She learned a lot from her four years on council previously, and has had time over the last four years to reflect about the things she did or didn’t do as a councillor.
“I want to do a better job on council, and I would hope the community of Weyburn will give me that opportunity again,” she said.
Other committees she served on included the library board, representing council at the Ag Society, and serving on the Leisure Services committee, which has since been combined with a couple other committees. She would also like to see the City involved again with a doctor recruiting and retention committee, as they had had a few years ago and is in need of again, or at least a committee that can look at making life in Weyburn attractive for a physician’s family.
“If the family of a physician we’re recruiting isn’t happy here, they can’t have a happy life. The municipality can’t do anything about recruiting, but we can form a partnership with the doctors to make this a place that doctors will want to come to,” she said.
She and husband Corey are raising two daughters, Natalie and Jenna. Of their mom’s running for council again, she said, “I just want them to know it doesn’t matter how old you are, you can take on something new.”
Former police sergeant Dana Pretzer is also trying something new as he is also running for council. He served in the Weyburn Police Service for 33 years, and has been a school board trustee for 10 years as well as serving as a member of various volunteer boards and organizations in the community.
He began as a trustee before the Southeast Cornerstone board was formed, on the Weyburn School Division No. 97 board, then on the Sunrise School Division and finally he served a half-term on Cornerstone’s board, from 2015 to2017, when trustee Brian Wilson passed away.
“You learn a little bit about governance,” he said of his board experience. “It’s not like the old days, but I’m also old-fashioned, and I believe you represent people as a board member. You’re not just a rubber stamp.”
Pretzer said he has served the city since he was 18 years old, when he first joined the police force, until he retired in 2015, and he would like to continue serving the community by being elected to city council.
“I like to listen to people and do the right thing. I’m not saying council isn’t doing the right thing, but I’d like to be part of that. As a former officer, the safety of the citizens is foremost in my mind.”
The city’s health and safety is continuing to be an issue with the COVID-19 pandemic, which will impact on how he is able to campaign this fall. He said he will reach out through the media, and use social media platforms as well, and will answer questions or concerns if anyone wants to reach out to him.
He thinks the City has been doing well with infrastructure projects in recent years, and said there are always more things that could be done in this regard.