By Heather Cameron
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
During the M.D. of Taber Organizational Meeting on October 24, Councillor John DeGroot was elected Deputy Reeve.
“It’s something I wasn’t expecting, that’s for sure, but I’m thinking that we’ll have a good next year,” DeGroot said. “I think we were on a really good track the last two years, and I don’t think we have to change a whole lot. We just gotta keep going forward and working together as a team.”
Things that DeGroot plans to address during his term includes improved ambulance service within the municipality. That, DeGroot says, is something that the M.D. is working on with both staff and contacted government to see how they can get a better ambulance service, especially for the Town of Vauxhall.
DeGroot says he has personally been in the M.D. since the spring of 1965 when he and his family moved to a farm in Hays. Since then, DeGroot says, he has been farming full-time in irrigation farming and also has a cow and calf operation. In addition to that, DeGroot says, he has been involved in several local boards including Hays 4-H, where he was a leader for 10 years before stepping back four years ago while his wife, Sandra, was a leader for 15 years before stepping back recently to let the younger generation take over.
DeGroot says that this will be his third term on Council and first term as Deputy Reeve.
“I think most people are happy that I’m in here,” DeGroot said.
DeGroot says those who want to explore the same path in life better be willing to build a network or a team around them, and it’s better to work together with your neighbours, keep going to industry meetings, learn the new things that are out there, and be open-minded if you believe something should be exactly one way or another.
“Be willing to listen to other people’s opinions and have the ability to change your own mind,” DeGroot said.