The upcoming byelection just got a bit more interesting.
Long-time Neepawa residents Allan Drysdale and Sheri Grant have both decided to let their names stand for the Town's vacant councillor seat.
Drysdale and Grant will join mayoral candidates Bob Durston, Murray Parrott and Ken Waddell to make Feb. 28's byelection ballot list reach the five-name mark.
With last Friday's 4 p.m. deadline for nomination forms passed, no one else will be eligible to join the race for either seat.
"Now we have the five-week campaign period," senior elections official Darlene Gillies told The Neepawa Press Friday.
Drysdale, a retired jack-of-all-trades, has career experience as a farmer, bookkeeper and in the newspaper industry.
He has spent years volunteering in town in various capacities, including as a member of Neepawa's museum board, its archive board and in the Ag Society, and as an instructor with air cadets. Drysdale has also worked collaboratively with council as a volunteer in the past.
"I'm retired and have the time now for this," Drysdale said. "I'm hoping (my history) gives me a common sense approach to think about issues. Maybe I'll see things from a different angle."
If elected, Drysdale said he would trust Town employees to complete their duties without micromanagement from council.
"Council is there to provide direction. It's there to set policy," Drysdale said.
He also noted he believes council has already set a lot of the needed pieces in motion - such as with the town's housing situation, the CN property and infrastructure – for this term.
"It will be following up on a lot of things already started by the council," Drysdale said.
Meanwhile, Grant enters her name into the race as a concerned citizen whose family is deeply rooted in the community.
"We have just welcomed the seventh generation of our family to call our community home," Grant said. "I am very excited about the opportunity to be involved in the decision making process that will allow our community and those that choose to live, work and play here grow and prosper."
Grant would join council as a local business owner and operator, and said she will make her choices based on facts and common sense, while bringing a fresh approach to the challenges facing council.
"I am not afraid to speak up and I am a willing and capable listener," Grant said. "I offer a strong skill set that will enable me to do my job effectively and successfully.
"I want to be a part of that council."
Only the one councillor's seat and the mayoral seat will be be voted on during the byelection. Councillor positions currently held by Robyn Copeland, Dean Dietrich, Lisa Pottinger, Monty Simon and Bill Stilwell will remain uncontested.
The mayoral byelection became a need after former mayor Ron Forsman resigned his position in early December, citing health reasons as his reason for leaving office.
The councillor's seat was left vacant earlier this month when Parrott resigned his seat to run for mayor.