Gordon Boddez becomes Morinville's mayor
Won't run for re-election
By: Kevin Ma
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 04, 2013 03:15 pm
Morinville has a new mayor, and his name is Gordon Boddez.
But he won’t be in the mayor’s chair for long – Boddez says he won’t run again during this fall’s election.
Town council voted unanimously last Aug. 27 to appoint Boddez as the new mayor of Morinville. The town has been without a mayor since Paul Krauskopf passed away this summer.
Council met on July 11 to discuss its options to fill the mayor’s chair. Instead of promoting deputy mayor Lisa Holmes or picking a mayor, councillors chose to defer their decision to Aug. 27.
Coun. Sheldon Fingler nominated Boddez at the start of the Aug. 27 meeting. Boddez was the sole name put forward.
Boddez accepted the nomination “I feel like I’m getting married,” he joked, after saying, “I do” to the question of whether or not he would let his name stand. He was voted in unanimously.
Immediately after taking the oath of office, Boddez announced that he would not be running for re-election this fall, due in most part for business reasons (he is a business owner and a realtor). “I do not feel I have the time to devote to this important position as a councillor in this town that you need to devote to it,” he said.
“My second primary reason is my wife doesn’t want me to run,” he added, to the amusement of council-members.
Boddez is a two-term town councillor who first took office in 2007. He previously served as a trustee on the Greater St. Albert Catholic School Board for 18 years. He had been nominated for the mayoral post in 2012 to replace Lloyd Bertschi, but declined due to time commitments.
In an interview, Boddez said he agreed to take the top chair in order to give the rest of council time to focus on their election campaigns. “It’s only for a period of two months, and I do not plan on running again.”
Boddez said he didn’t have any big plans for his time as mayor (given that there was but one meeting left before the election), and was in talks with administration on how best to finish off council’s work. He hoped he would be able to offer councillors some guidance during this interim period.
Morinville has changed considerably since he moved into town in 1985, Boddez said. “Things were very bleak in the community,” he recalled, and the town was still reeling from the recent recession. “There was a lot of ill-feeling towards both council and the school board at the time.”
The town reached a turning point in 1995 with the construction of the town’s first high school, Boddez said. In the old days, young families would often ditch Morinville for places like St. Albert as soon as the kids finished junior high.
“The high school had a dramatic impact on the town,” Boddez said. Kids all of a sudden wanted to finish school in town, causing a big demographic shift in the town as they and their parents stuck around until graduation. Developers moved in (due in part to the efforts of former mayor Lloyd Bertschi), and the town grew by over a thousand homes in less than a decade.
It also gained a Community Cultural Centre. It might be heavily subsidized, Boddez said, but it’s also an essential addition to the community. “You have now a fostering of the arts community in town,” he said, and a future convention centre.
Boddez said he always fought for fiscal responsibility while on council, adding that the town still had a ways to go in order to achieve it. He planned to do a lot of travelling in the next five years, as his business recently signed a deal with the government of Jamaica.
“Morinville is positioned very nicely for the future,” Boddez said. “With some good leadership, Morinville will become a nice strong regional centre.” But that will only happen if council works well with other regional governments, he said, and avoids the bickering that’s happened in the past.