Brad Mapes has been elected mayor of Hay River, defeating incumbent Andrew Cassidy in Monday’s municipal election.
Mapes, who most recently served on Town council, prevailed with 810 votes to Cassidy’s 540.
“I’m pretty excited and looking forward to the challenge,” Mapes told Moose FM.
“I’m humbled by the support the community gave me and I’m energized to get going, bring in the council right away, get management on board and get the town moving in the right direction.
“Publicly, a couple of councillors have said they couldn’t work with me as mayor and that’s a decision for them. If two councillors feel they can’t work with me, they have to make a decision.
“We’ve got a lot of issues to deal with. We need to figure out how we can get growth coming into our community and that’s one of the key things.”
In his campaign, Mapes said the town must be prepared to increase pay offers to attract candidates for senior roles. He told Moose FM Hay River should look to restore its reputation as the ‘hub’ of the North.
Cassidy, by contrast, said the town council’s “pretty hard stance” on wage increases – leading to a six-month labour dispute earlier this year – had been necessary to combat the cost of living.
He urged Hay River to “stick with the same team, move forward and build on what we’ve started”.
Mark Heyck has been re-elected mayor of Yellowknife, defeating challenger John Himmelman in Monday’s municipal election.
Heyck, who had been the strong favourite, will now begin a second three-year term as mayor. He had previously been a city councillor for nine years.
Heyck won in a landslide, claiming 4,478 of total 5,889 votes – good for 76% of the general vote.
“I’m honoured and humble to have been re-elected,” he told Moose FM. “It was a great first three years and a real learning experience for me. Now, to be able to put that experience to work for Yellowknifers makes me very happy.
“I’m looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting back to work tomorrow.”
Heyck had pledged a focus on homelessness and downtown revitalization in his campaign. Himmelman said the city had been “doing the opposite” of what was needed, and had promised to prioritize reducing the cost of housing.