As Vicky Lefebvre prepares to pass the Deputy Mayor torch to Councillor Darrell MacDonald, the Cold Lake City Councillor reflects on her time-serving as Deputy Mayor. Councillor Lefebvre had a different reign then many of Cold Lake’s Deputy Mayors, as she had to take over when Mayor Craig Copeland ran for MLA in the provincial election in May.
Mayor Copeland has nothing but praise for Lefebvre, “Vicky is great! Our Mayor job is supposed to be part-time, I rely on the Deputy Mayors quite a bit. These last few months Vicky has had to step up more so than anybody else had.” Not only did Mayor Copeland have a brief leave as the Mayor, but he also had commitments at his day job at the Cold Lake Fish Hatchery, and manages the Sam Livingson Fish Hatchery in Calgary. It was a busy season for the Mayor who relied on Vicky to fill in at various events.
Attending events, and meeting people is one of the reasons Lefebvre is a Councillor for the City and a big reason she enjoyed her reign as Deputy Mayor. “It’s exciting. You might do three different events in a day. It’s kinda difficult to plan your day; I may have to go to Bonnyville for a meeting, then back to Cold Lake for a luncheon, then something else at 4:00 pm. It’s very different from a ‘normal’ job, you’re not working 8:00 – 5:00.”
Each Councillor takes an eight-month turn as Deputy Mayor, Lefebvre’s term started around the same time as the provincial election. Lefebvre says Mayor Copeland is great at letting Council in on his plans, “Craig is very upfront, you know what’s happening. We all knew what was happening.”
Lefebvre explains it’s the City staff that makes her and everyone else on Council look as good as they do, “Kevin [Nagoya], our CAO, is very knowledgeable, he;s very good at his job and always knows what’s going on. The staff makes you look good. They do a great job of letting you know where you need to be and what you are doing. They’re stellar! I don’t think there’s anybody better out there.”
“You get to attend events that you normally wouldn’t be able to,” Lefebvre explains being involved in the community is a passion. She recently attended the Lakeland Credit Union’s 75th Anniversary. “Being able to take that in, you get to see a lot more of the community when you’re the Deputy Mayor. You’re exposed to more, than in your regular Councillor role.”
“I like the extra responsibility, you get to be in some of the meetings first, it gives you an understanding of what’s transpiring. You get the best version of what’s happening, you’re on the ground floor,” says Lefebvre.
“Vicky’s a sweetheart,” boosts Mayor Copeland, “there’s a lot of men on Council, she brings a good balance to our group.”
Lefebvre says it’s not a gender issue, being the only female on Council, it’s more that every Councillor brings a different life experience with him/her to the table. “I like how everyone can bring their own opinions and they may be different, but everyone is respectful.”
“I think I bring a different perspective,” Lefebvre explains the diversity of Council, “we all come to the table with a different way of looking at things, our own unique styles. We agree on many things, some things we don’t. But, you wouldn’t want people to agree on everything, you want different ways of looking at things, and our Council does that. We come from different backgrounds, I come from the banking background and I may be a bit more conservative. We have someone food the health industry, education, business, construction; we have all different people at that table that can meet the needs of the people of Cold Lake.”
Lefebvre says although she love the events and being involved in the community she is looking forward to some down time as she passes the torch to Councillor Darrell MacDonald tomorrow, November 10th. “He’ll do fine,” Lefebvre says of Councillor MacDonald, “he’s a great Councillor, a very easy-going gentlemen and he’ll be great.”