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Even after he moved away for university and then for work, Behiel always envisioned himself returning home to Humboldt and taking an active role in city life.
“I used to tell my family that when the day comes, when I retire, I’m going to move back to Humboldt, hopefully become part of City Council, and start making a difference in bringing the city back to the shining glory it had been when I was a kid.”
So when several friends and neighbors approached him to run for Council in 2016, the decision was “a no-brainer.”
On Council, he has spent the last four years focusing on police and public safety, as well as mental health and addictions issues.
And when outgoing mayor Rob Muench decided against running for reelection – preferring to run for a council seat instead, which he won – Behiel saw an opportunity.
“I would never have run for mayor if Mayor Muench had not decided not to re-run,” Behiel said. “I have too much respect for the work he did as leader of the city and I was quite happy being by his side.
“But when he said he needed to step down … I immediately felt that was my chance to step forward and continue the work he had started.”
And Behiel expects his experiences at the federal level will be an asset when it comes to cutting through red tape and advocating for Humboldt at every level of government.
“When I get into the places where we have any of our federal or provincial representatives, I’m right there with those people, whoever it may be, asking for answers and solutions and wanting to know what they’re going to do to help us get everything in line,” he said.
Under his leadership, Behiel says some of the City’s most urgent priorities will be to replace aging sewer and water lines, deal with floodwater mitigation, keep taxes low and attract more businesses to the area.
“Most importantly, I want to get Humboldt to the point where everybody’s going ‘Wow! I wish I was in Humboldt,’ ” he said.