Lonnie Wolgien has completed his first two weeks acting as Reeve of the County of Vermilion River.
Elected during an annual organizational meeting, Wolgien was joined by Clint Murray as Deputy Reeve. Council committees will be appointed on November 10.
County councillors are elected by residents every four years, but the Reeve and Deputy Reeve positions are elected each year only by council members. Past Reeve, Dale Swyripa, and past Deputy Reeve, Stacey Hryciuk, will both remain on as councillors.
Entering his first year as Reeve, this is Wolgien’s second term on council and has lived in the area for the past 22 years.
He is most looking forward to working with ratepayers as well as with council and administration.
“First and foremost I believe in the county and the people that live here,” said Wolgien.
“I want to see improvements in our infrastructure and working relationships with other municipalities both inside and outside the County of Vermilion River. We have a strong mix of agriculture and oil and gas, and with that said we also have good people that have given us a strong history.”
In Wolgien’s new role as spokesperson for the county, he will oversee council meetings, planning and budgeting meetings as well as attend meetings with the province, Rural Municipalities of Alberta, and any zoning meetings that may occur.
He will be given signing authority and will act as an ambassador for the county as a whole.
Wolgien said that the County of Vermilion River is always looking for new opportunities, and a good example of that is the new G3 elevator just east of Vermilion. Wolgien wants to continue the county’s infrastructure plan which consists of roads, a gravel program, paving, and capital projects.
“We have just completed a very successful year and weather has been a big factor in completing all of our projects – even some that were scheduled for 2021,” said Wolgien.
“The combination helping to make this work successfully also stems from the support of county staff and administration as well as the direction of council. Weather plays a huge role in our process, and in other years, weather just didn’t allow for those things to happen.”