de Groot confirms re-election bid

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Eoin Devereux
Neepawa Banner & Press

Adrian de Groot is very pleased with the progress that’s been made in Neepawa over the past four years. He’s hoping to stick around for the next four years to see just how it all plays out. Earlier this week, the incumbent mayor of Neepawa confirmed that he will seek a second term in this fall’s municipal election.

“With May 1 being the day that nominations open up for the heads of council, I wanted to get an early start on this as possible and ensure that the community was aware that I will be seeking re-election this October,” stated de Groot. “The primary reason for seeking re-election is that there are a number of projects ongoing in Neepawa, that have great importance for the future of the community. Those projects have made some tremendous progress over the past four years, through the hard work of the current council, administration and myself. I feel that keeping the same leadership at this key point of local development will ensure Neepawa’s ongoing growth as a sub-regional centre for commerce and business.”

Work with others

After serving as a councillor in the City of Thompson for 27 years, de Groot won in the mayoral election in Neepawa in 2014 and has represented the community for the past four years. He believes that wealth of experience is exactly what is needed to continue guiding Neepawa down the right path.

“That’s what I think I have brought to the table, is the past experience. For 30 plus years, I have served as a municipal councillor and I love it and I’m excited about it. As well, that 30 years has allowed me to establish relationships with many other officials, from all levels of government and departments. They still know me on a first name basis and I still know them. Having that type of rapport can be invaluable,” de Groot said. “[Those other representatives] understand that I’m a straight shooter. I don’t start beating people around the head. You know [for example] when we didn’t get the full funding for the force main sewer project, I didn’t go and start wailing or start complaining publicly. I just quietly talked to certain individuals. I was asked ‘How’s our project coming?’ from the feds. I said ‘Well, you know what? We’ll have a pipe in the ground, but we won’t get anything through it and it won’t go anywhere.’  I explained it’s a $3.3 million project and we have $1.1 million, so we’re $2.2 million short. The reply was ‘Well that doesn’t sound right. I thought we did that all.’ Well, not quite. So, the next day, we get that all straightened out. Two weeks later, we got the remainder of the $2.2 million. Don’t have to go on the radio or in the papers and cry about it. We just did it.”

Long-term vision

De Groot has expressed satisfaction with the direction that Neepawa has taken over the past few years. He noted there has been progress on several fronts, including the development of the new firehall, the CN property and the waterline to the R.M. of Rosedale.

For the future, de Groot said that there are still some things that need to be solidified in Neepawa, such as the long-term housing strategy. He suggested examining a complex issue like that could take many forms, whether it be through a housing committee or the examination of the zoning bylaws.

Though housing was one topic cited during de Groot’s conversation with the Banner & Press, he was quick to note that he believes this will not be a one issue election. With Neepawa evolving as it has over the past four years, the issues have evolved as well. De Groot concluded that he believes he is the right person to help guide the community through that evolution.

“I’m committed to what I do and try to do the best I can. And I’ll take the tough conversations; I won’t run from them or shy away from them,” said de Groot. “We have a good commitment from our administration and it’s a good time to be a part of it. The buzz that you hear from other departments is that Neepawa is a growing community. There’s a focus on us and I’m proud to be a part of that. I’m an advocate for our community and will continue to do so if the voters let me.”