David Wilks previously served as Mayor of Sparwood from 2005 to 2011. File photo

Sparwood mayor-elect reveals first priorities

David Wilks has been elected Mayor of Sparwood for the second time

Working towards an indoor soccer pitch and walking track, and resolving issues with the Whiskey Jack golf resort are top priorities for Sparwood’s mayor-elect David Wilks.

The retired RCMP officer also hopes to move the cenotaph from the library to Centennial Square using funding from a federal grant program.

“That will hopefully revitalize Centennial Square,” said Wilks.

“Then lastly, I’d like to do a complete review of our staffing component. Whether it be at the public works, recreation or up at the town hall, make sure that we’re utilizing our staff to its fullest potential.”

LOOK BACK: Full election results for the District of Sparwood

Wilks previously served as Mayor of Sparwood from 2005 to 2011 and was a Member of Parliament for Kootenay-Columbia from 2011 to 2015.

This being his sixth election, celebrations in the Wilks home were quiet on Saturday night when the results were released.

“I’m happy and humbled that the people of Sparwood put their trust in me, and to move forward over the next four years and to have a good council to work with,” he told The Free Press on Sunday.

The community can expect the same hands-on approach Wilks took during his first term.

“I like to get council involved in a lot of the decision-making from the perspective of getting them to bring forward ideas they want to see done and work with those,” he said.

“I like to have a good healthy relationship with staff and get staff to move forward with the ideas that the Mayor, and council have.”

Wilks is currently employed as a pit labourer at Teck’s Elkview Operations and hopes to continue working there, as others have done before him.

However, he has made it clear the District is his priority.

Wilks said his work with Teck won’t stop him from addressing airborne dust, an issue raised by many voters in Sparwood on Saturday.

LOOK BACK: Word on the street – biggest issues for Sparwood voters

“The challenge you have with the District of Sparwood is we can put pressure on Teck to do things, but it’s Teck that controls the dust, not the District of Sparwood,” said Wilks.

“Working up there, I know what they do and they work hard to try to keep the dust down. I think where the District of Sparwood has to focus is ‘OK, Teck if you’re doing the best that you can and you’ve taken every suggestion that we’ve had or other people have had, and implemented those suggestions and we still have a dust issue then I think there has to be a way in which Teck compensates the District of Sparwood for that dust’.”

See tomorrow’s The Free Press for our full election coverage.

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