Hay River Mayor Brad Mapes announced on Facebook he will not seek re-election this fall.

His post earlier this week was quickly flooded with comments from the community, commending his time in office over the past six years – the first three of which were spent as a town councillor.

One of the nearly 50 commenters thanking him for his service wrote, “For every birthday post made, book read, face placed on the memorial wall, and tree you trimmed, there were 100 actions behind the public doors that have served to carve a positive culture and future for our town.”

Advertisement. Story continues below

“I’ve really enjoyed being the mayor. I enjoyed working with council,” he reflected, expressing appreciation for the support provided by Deputy Mayor Donna Lee Jungkind over their term together.

Mapes cited building a new arena, hosting the Arctic Winter Games, and getting the town’s finances organized as some of the accomplishments of which he is most proud – and added he’s not done yet.

“I’ve still got a month and a bit to finish up my term, and I explained to council that we need to complete the power franchise along with the land development in our community,” he said.

Council is exploring options to secure cheaper power rates for Hay River and is drawing out new residential lots for development near the hospital.

When his term is up

“I wanted to spend a little more time with my family,” said Mapes on his decision not to run for a second term.

“Work-wise, I plan on focusing on the pellet project and logistics site out of Enterprise,” he said. “I feel it has a huge opportunity to have a huge impact on economy – not just for Hay River, but for the whole South Slave.”

His entrepreneurial wood pellet factory has been in the works for seven years, and he’s hopeful he can get it off the ground within the next two if he dedicates more time to the business.

At his logistics site, he would like to haul bulk product, like diesel, up by rail, and then load it onto trucks to be delivered to the mines.

Hay River election 2018

As far as Cabin Radio was able to determine, no one in Hay River has entered the 2018 mayoral race yet.

“It’s tough to get eight people to run,” noted Mapes. “I’m not going to be shocked if I hear that they can barely get any people to run, I just don’t think there’s that much interest.

“It’s tough to get people committed, and definitely we set the bar. If you want to get on council, you can’t just be on the fence, you need to get involved.”