BOYLE – Pat Ferguson has put his name forward to stand as a candidate for council in the Village of Boyle — the third of three current councillors hoping for a second term around the decision-making table in the town where he grew up.
The lifelong Boyle-area resident, father of three, and brand-new grandfather wants to continue the good work the current council has done for the village in the last four years, which was a challenge in the midst of a viral pandemic, but one Ferguson is up for. He’s in it for the long-haul and has no plans to pick up and leave the community any time soon.
“I've always been a little bit conservative-minded. Taxes have always been important to me. We try to keep the taxes low, but there are things that are out of your hands — the challenges of COVID, the mill closing with the council before — we definitely had some obstacles to overcome,” he said in an Aug. 22 interview. “We took everything in stride, basically. We have a good solid council right now, I think, with our leadership with (mayor) Colin (Derko). We got along very well.”
Ferguson attended school in Boyle and graduated there, and his mother was also a teacher at Boyle School, so his roots in the community run deep. He also used to farm outside of Boyle, but has worked for the North Corridor Co-op for 34 years, where he is currently the petroleum supervisor. Leaving the agriculture business and moving back into town, gave him the opportunity to run for council, which he thoroughly enjoys.
“I hope I bring a certain consistency and just the life experience,” he said.
Looking back on the last four years, Ferguson found the learning curve to be steep, but he was comfortable with his role on the regional water, and regional waste commissions, as well as the Greater North Foundation, not only that, but he enjoyed it. If re-elected he plans to seek out positions on different committees as well, particularly with the fire department.
He’s particularly proud of the beautification work the current council prioritized in the last year, with new pavement and sidewalks and a number of other improvements that came in well under budget.
It’s also very important to him to continue to work alongside the village’s neighbouring municipalities, not just Athabasca County and the Town of Athabasca, but Lac La Biche too, and everyone else in the surrounding area. The relationship with the area MLA and provincial government is also an important aspect of representing the village, he said.
Building those relationships can only bring about good things for the village, he says.
“In this next term, if I get elected, I want to continue with always watching the taxes,” he said, noting the importance of supporting local businesses, something he puts into practice himself as a consumer. “I’m a huge believer in that, it’s very important to me and something that’s on my mind a lot.”