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Ritchot Mayor to Run for Another Term

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2 Chris Ewen
Chris Ewen is running for another term as Ritchot's mayor.

Ritchot Mayor Chris Ewen is throwing his hat back in the ring for another four-year term. On October 26, unless the position goes uncontested, Ritchot residents will go to the polls to decide.

“Running for council for a third term has been a decision I’ve contemplated heavily for the last six months,” Ewen says. “I’ve been very appreciative of the positive messages and emails from residents encouraging me to continue.”

Ewen first took office in a 2017 by-election when Jackie Hunt, who was mayor at the time, resigned from council along with two councillors. At 29 years of age, Ewen won the position over three other candidates.

Ewen was back on the campaign trail one year later when Manitoba’s regularly scheduled municipal election was held. That time, he took the seat by acclamation. Come this fall, he will have served a total of five years in office.

From the start of his mayorship, Ewen says he has made it his mandate to bridge the communication gap between local government and residents of the RM.

“Improving municipal transparency and communication is something I’ve worked on from day one,” he says. “Although it’s not perfect, both have become much better since my first term.”

In 2018, council took pride in launching the Ritchot Connect app, which provides municipal updates to residents by email, text, and phone notifications. The app proved especially useful this past spring when it came time to release daily flood updates.

Continuing along the same theme, Ewen says that he and the rest of council are looking closely at adding a communications officer to the RM’s administrative team, which should help improve media relations and info-sharing between residents.

Assuming he resumes his role as mayor in October, Ewen has set his sights on a few other areas that he believes need special attention.

“Community safety and quality of life for our residents will be my focus over the next term, if re-elected,” says Ewen. “This ranges from communication and opportunities with our local police and bylaw patrol to improving our greenspace and active lifestyle pathways throughout each community.”

The past five years, he says, has provided a unique learning curve for him in terms of understanding the roles of other levels of government and learning to collaborate with them.

“Learning to work with all levels of government was a challenge at first. As I continued each year, I realized that each level has a hand to play to ensure improvement is made in the RM.”

Of course, he’s the first to admit that a mayor is only as good as the team of councillors that surrounds by. Working with the current council members, he says, has been a real pleasure.

“Council as a whole has been a team that, if chosen at a draft pick day from a professional sports association, would cost a lot of money!” he says. “I couldn’t have asked for a better blend of people to work beside.”

Apart from campaigning this summer, Ewen anticipates that he’ll be continuing his focus on the current projects keeping council busy. Main Street revitalization is high on that list and they continue to lobby the province for funding on that.

As well, the site of the civic office in St. Adolphe will soon see some important improvements that he says will help attract tourism and give residents a place to hold summer markets and other events.

As rewarding as that work has been, Ewen says hearing that his constituents are happy ranks pretty high in his books.

“I have received nothing but positive feedback,” he says. “The last three months especially have been very rewarding in terms of feedback.”

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For related articles, see links below.

Town of Niverville

Myron Dyck https://nivervillecitizen.com/...
Jason Alderson https://nivervillecitizen.com/...
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Chris Ewen https://nivervillecitizen.com/...
Ron Mamchuk https://nivervillecitizen.com/...