When Debra Button was elected to be Mayor of Weyburn in 2006, she was the mother of one child, Riley. Now, as another election approaches, the Mayor is a mother of four.
The Button family officially adopted nine-year-old Kyla and eight-year-old Dakota in December of 2011, after being their foster parents for a number of years. The Buttons have had about a dozen foster children through their home since 2003. They are in the process of adopting their youngest foster child now, with hopes of having papers finalized before the end of this year, to make for another very special Christmas.
"I am a firm believer that, sometimes in your life, doors close, but others quickly open and there are paths that you're meant to be on," said Mayor Button. She noted that, when she lost the Mayoral election in 2003, she was excited, "not because I'd lost, but because I couldn't wait to see why. We would never have foster parented had I not lost that election and I wouldn't be the mother of three of the children I am today."
Her own personal family experience is the Mayor's finest example of how everything happens for a reason.
In spite of their mom's busy work schedule, the Button family revels in its growth.
"It is a little difficult to be the mother of a 17-year-old, a nine-year-old, an eight-year-old and a three-year-old," she said. "But we do manage to make it work."
Indeed, team work is an absolute requirement.
"My husband is my number one blessing," she said. "I feel very fortunate to have married a man who supports me in every crazy path I decide to take, whether it be more children or more politics."
Mayor Button said that her role within the Federation of Canadian Municipalities is to attract more women into politics and to inspire men to recognize the value of the supporting role.
"I am very grateful to him and I say that with the most pride," she said of Greg, who was her 'high school sweetheart' and who will be her husband of 24 years this September 3. "In marriage you have your ups and your downs, but we have had to learn to work together as a team."
Her job as Mayor has been a daily dream come true for Debra Button.
"The one constant that has been in my life for the last six years is, every morning I get up excited that I get to come here (to City Hall)," she said. "This is a good place to be."
Button said that things have changed since she was on the City Council, from 1997 to 2003. She described it as 'a different Weyburn.' She noted that, although it has a new pulse and is busier, Weyburn still holds its strong sense of community.
The best part of being Mayor, Button said, is that she is able to attend many functions to which she normally would not be privy to.
"You get to see where all the action is, behind the scenes," she said. "Volunteers work to make communities better. That is my favourite part, because it is really what makes our community tick. There are just so many people who give of their time and do their best, so it inspires me to give of my time and do my best."
Button said she continues to meet many people whom she otherwise might not have had the opportunity to meet if she hadn't been Mayor. She is also excited to have been able to witness the City's progress.
On her office wall, the Mayor treasures a painting entitled, 'Courage, My Friends,' which is a portrait of Tommy Douglas, whom she feels is looking over her shoulder. Her favourite painting, however, also from the City's Permanent Art Collection, is one of two children playing.
"Whenever I'm having a bad day, I turn my chair around and I see that smile," she said. "On her face is pure joy." She added that the two paintings are there for a reason, because they symbolize who she is and what she values.
The Mayor noted that she is very proud of the City employees.
"If you're thinking about saying something bad about our staff, be careful, because I am like a mother lion," she said. "We are a wheel and nobody is more important than the next. Without part of the wheel, we fall apart. Everyone does a job that we sometimes take for granted."
As for her future goals as Mayor, Button feels she has more to accomplish. She said that she is grateful and honoured to have been able to work with the City Council and that she will truly miss the presence of outgoing Councillor, Bill Rudachyk.
Button plans to run for Mayor again in the upcoming election. The campaign begins at the end of August.