Long-time Estevan City Councillor Roy Ludwig is the first person to declare his candidacy for mayor in October's civic election.
Ludwig made the announcement on June 25. He'll be trying to replace Gary St. Onge, who has been Estevan's mayor since 2005. St. Onge has repeatedly stated that he won't be seeking re-election in October.
Ludwig was first elected to Council in 1994, and has been a councillor ever since. It's been an enjoyable, but sometimes challenging experience, and he likes working with the department heads and other people in what is a growing community.
"I look forward to, if elected, continuing along those lines, to make Estevan a better place to live, one that we could all be proud of," said Ludwig.
Infrastructure improvements need to continue, he said. The City has resurfaced about 100 blocks since 2005, but more work has to be done.
"I think the important thing, now that we're in the growth mode – which is a great thing that's happening to our city, with all the growth that's happening – is I think we have to have continued, affordable and sustainable growth," said Ludwig.
Health care is also important, he said. Ludwig has been part of the South East Health Committee, which has been working on the recruitment and retention of physicians, as well as the acquisition of capital health equipment. The Estevan Regional Nursing Home needs to be replaced. He also hasn't given up hope on St. Joseph's Hospital gaining regional hospital status.
Efforts need to continue on the beautification and recreation fronts, he said, but the city also has to remain affordable for senior citizens and people on fixed incomes.
Ludwig said he has had many conversations with St. Onge about the mayor's job, and Ludwig believes that he has the requisite skills and abilities.
He's not assuming that St. Onge will support him, even though St. Onge and Ludwig have been together on Council since 2000.
"I don't expect anyone in his position to be out front and advertising, but as far as support, you'll have to ask Gary how he feels with me running," said Ludwig. "I'm just confident with the fact that through our discussions that he feels comfortable with me running."
Ludwig said he wouldn't have a problem if anybody opposes him in the mayoral election, as it would be a good sign of interest in the community issues facing Estevan.