Grande Prairie Mayor Bill Given says he holds few regrets during his time in office, but the lack of push on a change in how the region is governed remains high on that list.
Given says while the working relationships between each municipal government remain top-notch, he firmly believes there will and should be a single regional government for the Grande Prairie area.
“I still believe that eventually, the local governments in the Grande Prairie area will need to change from the way they look today,” he adds.
Given says over the years many conversations surrounding the topic have come up informally but says that his lack of drive on the topic may have helped let it drop to the wayside.
“I allowed people’s fear of the unknown to take over that conversation,” he adds.
Given says a regional approach would present possibilities for more efficient governance, as well as provide a more streamlined approach for things like funding requests. He adds, in the end, it would only change how the municipal region is run, but it would allow for each municipality to preserve its individuality.
“That regional government will have to find some way to ensure the communities of the Grande Prairie region maintain their independent flavour and uniqueness, but I know there is a more efficient way to deliver government services than the current fragmented system of city, county, towns, and village.”
Given has been Mayor of Grande Prairie since 2010, and an overall part of council since 2000. His last day in office is slated for December 31st, 2020.