BENSON - Ken Wallewein was elected the new reeve for the RM of Benson on Nov. 9, defeating Donald Van De Woestyne 73-28.
His family has a history in the Benson area, and this began with his parents Gilbert and Helen Wallewein.
They raised their two sons, Ken and Kevin, as well as four daughters on a farm northwest of Benson, where they farmed for 43 years. For 38 of those years, Gilbert was councillor for the RM of Benson.
Ken and his brother purchased and rented land shortly after graduating from high school. Even after gaining employment in the oil industry, they remained involved on the family farm, eventually taking over full ownership and operation.
Growing up with a councillor in the family, the two brothers were well versed in what was involved with the job.
When David Hoffort, the long-time Benson reeve, decided to retire earlier this fall, Ken Wallewein felt it was time for him to run for the position as he had scaled back his work from the oil industry.
After Gilbert and Helen moved to Estevan, Ken and Kevin completed the takeover of the farm and continued with the family business of farming.
Their wives are also involved, helping with harvest and providing meals in the busy seeding and harvest times. Their adult sons are actively involved in the operation of the farm. They took over operation of the equipment and planning as Gilbert began his retirement.
Ken feels that his experience in the oil industry, which required him to look after many locations, a large budget and multiple staff, will benefit him in his new role. He knows how to get the best out of staff and bring conflicts to a suitable resolution.
He will work closely with the councillors and the administrator to ensure that things continue to run smoothly.
According to Ken, there are no key issues with the RM.
“But we do need to change with the times,” he said.
“We need to explore the most effective ways to manage the municipality’s business and use a cost-efficient approach.”
Ken’s brother Kevin just became a councillor for the RM in Division 6, which was also his dad Gilbert’s division.
He will continue to work on the farm with Kevin and both their families while following in their dad’s footsteps in the RM.