Mary and Butch Sjostrom collect driftwood for their garden where the former mayor expects to spend a lot more time.

Mary and Butch Sjostrom collect driftwood for their garden where the former mayor expects to spend a lot more time.

Mary contemplates what’s next

After 15 years in politics, not ready to shut down just yet.

  • Dec. 5, 2014 2:00 p.m.

Tilting her head slightly to the left, she gazes out the window with a soft, albeit sad smile.

“I suppose I’m looking forward to having free time,” former Mayor Mary Sjostrom said.

“I’m really not sure, it’s all a bit too fresh.”

After 15 years serving the community, six of those as mayor, Sjostrom lost the race to new mayor Bob Simpson by more than 1,000 votes.

“Having never lost any kind of election in my life this is certainly different for me,” Sjostrom said, while addressing council for the last time.

“I had a great team, many have been friends for years and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

“Friends are always there for you no matter what.”

Sjostrom pointed to a number of initiatives in which she’s proud to have been a part of, highlighting strong working relationships municipally, provincially and federally.

“Trust needs to be earned,” she said.

“And with council’s help this happened, despite attempts from some to prevent that process from happening.”

Sjostrom also thanked council and city staff, notably city manager Byron Johnson.

“You are a fabulous leader and have done so much to rebuild this city hall team,” she said.

“To our city staff, and all departments within our work force, I am so proud of the work you do each day.

“Thank you.”

Sjostrom openly acknowledged her disappointment in not being able to see certain initiatives to completion, but vowed to be “watching and waiting for that shovel to go in the ground for our new West Fraser Centre.”

What’s next for The Gold Pan’s first female mayor remains to be seen – more time with her ever-loving husband and best friend Butch,

countless hours in the garden she adores and added grandma duties to her five beautiful grand-babies are all on her agenda but don’t discount a return to the community she loves.

“I’m not ready to shut down,” she said firmly.

“I really do truly care for this community, so I won’t be far away.”