Okotoks, Alta. Mayor Bill Robertson dies after battle with cancer

Okotoks Mayor Bill Robertson passed away Wednesday after a battle with cancer. (Contributed)

Surrounded by family, Okotoks Mayor Bill Robertson passed away after a battle with cancer, officials announced Wednesday.

He was 67.

“On behalf of town council we extend our deepest condolences to his wife Elaine, their children Michael, Jeffery and Bradley and all members of his family,” said deputy Mayor Florence Christophers in a statement.

"Bill will be profoundly missed, both as a great leader in our community and as a mentor and a friend."

Robertson was a fixture in the town just south of Calgary, serving on council continuously for more than 25 years, having first been elected in 1995.

He served five terms as a councillor then was elected mayor in 2010, and re-elected in 2013 and 2017.

"During his tenure, Okotoks grew from a small town of less than 10,000 to almost 30,000 people and experienced significant changes," read a release.

"Some major milestones during his time on council included the construction of Drake Landing, which was the first solar community in North America, the opening of the Dawgs stadium, the expansion of the Pason Arenas, regional partnerships with Foothills County including the shared Regional Fieldhouse, Champion Park and, most recently, the long-awaited supplemental water solution through the regional water pipeline agreement."

A retired teacher, Robertson was also known for taking part in community events, including the annual United Way Roof Top Rescue fundraiser and Light Up Okotoks.

“He was a tireless advocate for our community and contributed greatly to the success Okotoks and the region over the years,” said CAO Elaine Vincent

"His leadership, warmth, respect and compassion were felt by all who had the opportunity to interact with him."

Flags at civic buildings in Okotoks have been lowered to half-mast in his honour and a memorial has been created at the Municipal Centre with a book of condolences residents are invited to sign.

The book will be open to the public Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. or residents can sign it virtually.