Mayor Jeff Genung believes having an MLA re-elected who has played an important role in the Danielle Smith government is a big win for Cochrane.
"The fact that Peter Guthrie was a minister, and I'm hoping he will continue in some portfolio, maybe remain as Energy minister, and having a seat there in caucus and on the treasury board is only good for our community."
He says the defeat of some key cabinet ministers means some new bridges will need to be built.
"We're going to see some different faces in the caucus, and that means more work for us," says Mayor Genung. "It means building new relationships or rekindling old ones in a new fashion. The fact that we don't have to do that with Peter Guthrie means we're fast-forwarding our relationship there."
Jeremy Nixon, who was minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services, was working closely with the town in securing funding to help develop a new Big Hill Lodge. He lost his Calgary-Klein seat to NDPer Lizette Tejada.
"I hope it doesn't have an impact, but it is a risk. We were in a good place with Minister Nixon, and I think all signs were pointing to getting some funding for Big Hill Lodge if he were to remain there."
He's hopeful the relationship built with Nixon and his staff will continue with the new minister.
"We're not taking anything for granted. We'll just go back to the drawing board and start over as if we have to start from the beginning, but hopefully, that's not the case."
Genung says the development of a new Big Hill Lodge remains a priority for the town and he continues to meet regularly to discuss the project with Councillor Susan Flowers, who represents Cochrane on the Rocky View Foundation Board. He says Flowers has been providing a strong voice for the town to get the project underway.
"This won't be dropped. There will be an application in front of the province requesting funding, and hopefully, we're seeing shovels in the ground as early as next year for a new Big Hill Lodge."
Before the election, MLA Guthrie had been encouraging an application to come forward in time to catch the next funding window this fall. He was a strong advocate for the project throughout his first term.
Genung says the town is taking time to plan and will wait until the appropriate time to start pressing home Cochrane's priorities again with government officials.
"There are many people just clambering for attention right now. It will be loud and a lot of noise, so we're trying to take our time and do something very impactful."
"We know Danielle Smith will remain as our premier, but we don't know who's going to be in the cabinet yet, so we're just pushing pause on that until we see who we're working with, and then it will be all energies towards the province over the next month or two."
He says Cochrane continues to be under extreme growth pressure and he's been quite vocal in expressing that with government officials.
Genung has already been advocating for further improvements for Hwy. 22 going south over the Bow River. He made that clear when Transportation minister Devin Dreeshen was in town last December to announce the tender had been issued for the Hwy. 22-1A interchange.
Besides advocating for Cochrane, Genung is chair of the Mid-Sized Cities Mayors' Caucus (MCMC), which represents 24 Alberta municipalities. The day after the election, MCMC met to discuss their strategy going forward, and will soon be sending a delegation to meet with government officials.
"Getting in front of those ministers and chiefs of staff like we did last fall is crucial in their understanding of our needs going forward."
They are also planning to hold an educational summit next January with the MLAs representing the 24 municipalities.
"We'll have 35 MLAs in the room, hopefully, and when they see one another and see the impact and the number of Albertans that are represented through this group, we hope to we can make some inroads there, continue our relationship building, and then see some positive outcome."
It won't just be mayors at that summit representing the municipalities. Town councillors will also be in the room.