Slave Lake mayor Warman calls it quits

Byelection to be called for voters to choose a replacement

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Tyler Warman, the mayor of Slave Lake, resigned last week. Partway through his third full term, he had served in that position since mid-2013, when his predecessor also unexpectedly pulled the plug.

“It’s gotten so I just don’t have time anymore to do all the things I have to do,” Warman told The Leader.

That was just before handing in his resignation letter. He said it would be effective immediately.

What happens now is council will appoint an interim mayor, and the wheels will be set in motion for a byelection. No date is set for that yet, but it will be open to anyone who is interested, on council or not. Council is expected to choose a date for the byelection at its meeting this week.

Warman isn’t leaving town. He makes that plain in his resignation letter, which he posted on social media on the afternoon of Feb. 1. But his businesses have “grown exponentially,” in the past year, he says, and require more of his attention. He says he’s also looking forward to spending more time with his family.

Warman expresses confidence in the team he’s leaving behind, both in town administration and on council, which he calls “one of the best I have ever been a part of.”

“I wish the best of success to the Town organization in the future and to the elected officials who represent them. My goal is to continue to contribute towards Slave Lake’s success, but it is time for someone else to take the lead!”

Tyler Warman was a first-term councillor when the 2011 wildfire disaster hit Slave Lake. He had a leading role in the recovery effort, and when mayor Karina Pillay-Kinnee resigned in 2013, Warman shifted into the position of interim mayor. In the fall of that year, he won his first of three elections as a mayoral candidate.

One of the notable achievements in his tenure was forging a closer, better relationship with the Sawridge First Nation and the M.D. of Lesser Slave River. It took a disaster (the 2011 wildfire) to get it going, but Warman has played a key role in its continued success, which has gained notice elsewhere and had a lot to do with other efforts in regional cooperation.

Warman has lived in Slave Lake since 1992, when his family moved to town. During high school, he started working part time at Boston Pizza. Within a few years, he was managing the place, and since then has become the owner. In recent years, he has branched out and now owns several rental properties in Slave Lake. His third business is in the field of immigration – organizing workers for companies. That’s the one that has really taken off and demands more time than he had to give it when he was on town council.

“I was putting in 12 to 15-hour days, six days a week,” he says. “I’ve got hundreds of clients, from Toronto all the way to Vancouver. It keeps me very busy.”

Asked about the timing of his resignation, Warman says he thinks there’s a point where fresh ideas and fresh energy are needed in municipal leadership. The town is in pretty good shape at the moment, he says, and he feels he’s leaving it in good hands, “set up for success rather than failure.”

Does he see any public role for himself in the future? More than likely yes, he says, but at this point he has “no idea” what it might be. Besides his more than 12 years on council, Warman previously was a volunteer firefighter and Rotary member.

As for who succeeds him as mayor, Warman says he’s already heard from people interested in giving municipal politics a try.

“The interest is out there,” he says.

Mayor Tyler Warman

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