After being the newest face on town council with his by-election win in Febraury, Councillor Michael Doerksen has his eyes set on becoming the next Mayor of Drayton Valley. Doerksen says his roots are in Drayton Valley, having grown up and graduated high school here.
He then left at the age of 17 to attend the University of Alberta where he received a bachelors degree in geophysics. He bounced around in Edmonton and Calgary for work and then completed his masters in business. He says that brought him back to Drayton Valley where he weathered a business in town during the economic downturn. Doerksen and his wife also recently welcomed their third child in September.
He describes himself as an easy going guy that doesn't like confrontation unless necessary. "I listen first, and then I speak. I try and help everyone out," he adds. As for what motivated him to run for mayor he credits his skill sets, education and experience handling what he calls "the biggest economic storm in my life time," as key points that pushed him towards the mayoral race.
As for what he can bring to the table that differs from the other two candidates he points out his education as well as work experience during the downturn.
"I have my financial background, the education and academic approach. I also have the experience with working during a recession and working our way through it," he said. "I'm very ambitious and eager to learn. I have a strong handle on what needs to be done."
His three biggest issues he wants to deal with if elected are fiscal responsibility, economic development and an improved relationship with the county.
"We only have so much money coming in, we need cost saving measures. With economic development, industrial hemp needs to be capitalized on along with the CETC Centre," he said. "And with the county, we need someone that is a good listener and open minded with the county."
Doerksen says his vision for Drayton Valley includes a diversified economy and for it to be not so dependent on the oil and gas industry, along with the return of it being an economic powerhouse.
"I see Drayton Valley as being a friendly community where you can raise your kids and where people want to move to. Also to be an economic powerhouse like we were in the 80's and 90's and early 00's, and I think we can get that done."
Election day is on October 16. Doerksen will be vying to be mayor along with Councillor Brandy Fredrickson and Cecile Shewfelt.
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