When it comes down to it, Tyler Warman just plain likes the job of mayor. That, probably more than anything else, is why he’s running for a second four-year term for the top job on Slave Lake town council. He announced it online on the Aug. 19 weekend. The Leader caught up with him for an interview the following Monday.
“I find the position very interesting,” he says. “It keeps my mind busy and I like to stay busy.”
Was it ever in doubt?
“Oh yeah. It definitely takes time away from my business and my family. All three of those things have a heavy workload. There are times I balance them well and other times when you feel you don’t have enough time for anything.”
Warman says in the spring he was uncertain about trying for another term. But a month-long break this summer from council business “re-charged the batteries. I feel like I can do another four years.”
Another factor in his decision to run, Warman says, is who he is likely to end up serving with on council.
“You spend a lot of time with these people,” he says. “Your ability to work with them and work well is the difference between getting stuff done and not. If it wasn’t the right group it would heavily dissuade me from running.”
Does that mean what it sounds like it means?
“I think you’ll see a lot of familiar faces running for council.”
The past four years – Warman’s first as mayor and second term on council – have been quite full.
He listed some of the accomplishments in a recent column in the Lakeside Leader, so we won’t repeat them here. Looking forward, though, Warman says there are things he’d like to keep working on, so as to “hand them over to the next person,” in better shape.
These include the Legacy Centre (figuring out a model that works), building tourism and economic development generally and advocating for better health care.
Other factors: the support of his family, his staff at his business (Boston Pizza) and town residents.
“She (wife Janice) still believes in me,” he says.
Speaking of staff at the restaurant, Warman says he appreciates that citizens wanting to talk to him tend to not come in there looking for him, which is good for the staff, who have enough on their plates as it is. Warman prides himself on being accessible, and being willing to take calls on his cell and engaging with people online helps to keep his business and family separate from his political life.
Asked about the town’s relationship with the M.D. of Lesser Slave River, Warman says he looks forward to settling the two major agreements that have been in negotiation for many months. These are the Fire Services Agreement and the Inter-Municipal Agreement and they have dragged on while the two sides try to hash out who pays for what and how much.
“It adds stress to the relationship,” he says. “I hope we can finish them before the election.”
Speaking further about the future of the inter-municipal relationship, Warman says, “Getting a good group willing to work together – on both sides – would be key to keep that relationship strong. I’m very interested to see who’s running for the M.D. It will be a tremendous factor moving forward.”
There has been no word yet (that we’ve heard) on whether Warman will have any opposition in the Oct. 16 election. Following his announcement, four of his incumbent council colleagues followed suit, stating their intention to run last week. They are Julie Brandle, Darin Busk, Brice Ferguson and Joy McGregor. McGregor also plans to run for another term as High Prairie School Division Trustee. Mark Missal says he isn’t going to run again, and Phil Lokken has yet to make an announcement.