After nearly two decades in politics, Grande Prairie Mayor Bill Given will not be throwing his hat into the ring for re-election in 2021. Given was first elected as a councillor at the age of 24 in 2001, and, after serving nine years, he slotted into the mayor’s seat in the 2010 election.
“After nine years as a councillor and now entering my eleventh year as mayor, I’ve decided that it’s the right time for me to begin my transition away from elected office,” he says. “While I’m not leaving office, I’m announcing today because I hope this early notice will encourage people to think about running for council or mayor.”
Given remains the youngest person ever elected to Grande Prairie council, as well as the youngest person ever elected as mayor in the history of the city. Given says using his platform to recognize the value of the many diverse people that contribute to the fabric of Grande Prairie has been one of the most rewarding aspects of his job.
“For me, the reaction to seemingly gestures like raising the Métis, Franco-Albertan, Filipino, or Indian flags above city hall, hosting students at city hall and recognizing Pride day affirms the power of simply acknowledging people on a human level.”
Given says over the last 20 years he has been lucky to work with a wide variety of people not only around the council table but the staff which helps make the city continue to tick. While he now has very few plans when it comes to the election, he does have some advice for those who look to either join the conversation or continue on as public servants.
“Have a deep appreciation for the honour that has been bestowed upon you. Each of us that is elected to council is a steward of our community for a short period of time, and I believe it’s our job to do our best to care for it and nurture it.”
The next municipal election is set to take place on October 18th, 2021.