Having spent a lifetime in public health nursing and literally caring for the community, Lois Halko made the decision to move into local government in 2008 and is looking to be re-elected this year as a councillor, having stepped down from the mayor’s seat for this election.
The decision came as Halko wanted to continue being involved with the community, but in a less time-consuming capacity.
“The mayor’s seat has been extremely rewarding,” said Halko, “but for me, because I wanted to learn about everything and there’s so many opportunities with meetings and conferences, it turned out to be a full-time position. At this point in my life, I want to stay involved but also take it down a notch to have more leisure time and to spend more time with my mother and family.”
That family includes her two children that she raised in Sparwood who have now moved to Alberta as well as her 99-year-old mother who was born in Michel.
“At one point or another, six generations of my family have lived in the Sparwood area,” explained Halko. “And through my previous employment I had been so connected to the community through the health unit I thought I would like to run for a seat on council just to serve the community in a different way.”
Having served one term on council and one term as mayor, Halko said there are projects she would like to continue being a part of including the major economic development and construction work along Highway 3 that will bring commercial offices, a new intersection and a hotel to Sparwood.
“In town, things are also lining up for the expansion of Lilac Terrace,” noted Halko of that important project. Halko also regarded the downtown revitalization program which will allow all properties in the downtown care access to up to five years of municipal tax exemptions on improvements as an important project she wants to focus on if re-elected.
“I would like to work towards making Sparwood a preferred place to live and we’re doing that by maintaining an excellent recreation facilities, trails and maintaining a beautiful clean town,” said Halko.