County candidates outline some plans

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Mountain View County (MVC) council candidates have outlined some of their plans for their respective divisions and the municipality as a whole should they be elected on Oct. 16.

Incumbent Jeremy Sayer is facing off against challenger Dwayne Fulton in Division 1.

In Division 2, incumbent Patricia McKean is running against challenger Greg Harris.

Incumbent Angela Aalbers is facing off against challenger Robin Tudor in Division 5.

There are three candidates in Division 6: Peggy Johnson, Wim Nan and Jodi Orr.

In Gazette interviews, the candidates spoke about some of their plans and aspirations.

ï Patricia McKean, 41, is seeking a third term. She is a mortgage broker by profession.

“I think I’ve done a good job representing Division 2 residents,” said McKean. “I’ve been proactive in working with our urban partners and the provincial government. We’ve been able to improve service levels throughout the county and still be fiscally responsible.”

Supporting the Cremona and Water Valley communities would be priorities for her, she said.

ï Greg Harris, 64, is a retired police officer. He is seeking office for the first time.

“I’m a fiscal conservative and I don’t think we need to be putting ourselves in a huge place of debt,” said Harris. “I am interested in some of the planning and development issues being re-examined. Just because we’ve done things in the past isn’t a reason to keep doing those things.”

Ensuring bridges are maintained and built to adequately serve the farm community would be a priority for him, he said.

ï Angela Aalbers, 45, is a chemical engineer by profession. She is seeking a second term.

“I think that we had a really good running council over the past four years and there’s a lot of things still to be done,” said Aalbers. “I still want to find a solution for providing rural Internet for areas in the county that still are struggling with Internet corrections.

Continuing to work on agreements with urban partners would be a priority for her, she said.

ï Dwayne Fulton, 46, is a farmer who lives outside Carstairs. He is seeking office for the first time.

“I would like to represent agriculture on council,” said Fulton. “One of our biggest struggles is how we maintain our infrastructure in the county. I think we really need to work towards a long-term plan on how to keep our road networks from deteriorating.”

Ensuring that the county “makes the best use of taxpayers’ dollars as possible” would be a priority for him, he said.

ï Jeremy Sayer, 39, is seeking a second term. He is a massage therapist by profession.

“I think I have a proven track record of listening to the people in my division,” said Sayer. “On any issue I have always sought to represent the people in my division. Things that I would look forward to dealing with include working on the South Carstairs Economic area structure plan.”

Helping to diversify the county’s tax base would be a priority for him over the next term, he said.

ï Robin Tudor, 58, is a resident of the McDougal Flats district. He is seeking public office for the first time.

“Over the last year I’ve been involved in the McDougal Flats Protection Society (MFPS),” said Tudor. “I’ve learned a lot from the community and the biggest concern is just the quality of life in this area. People in the division are pushing to get recognized and be heard. I feel I can be out there and present our views.”

Tudor has stepped down as president of the MFPS but remains as a director.

ï Jodi Orr, 59, lives outside Sundre. She is seeking office for a second time, having previously served one term on Sundre town council.

“Basically I wish to provide good leadership and plan and build for the future while being fiscally responsible,” said Orr. “I want to make sure our citizens are engaged and that I listen to their points of view, to listen to everybody. I understand budgets and financial statements and governance and bylaws and infrastructure.”

ï Peggy Johnson is a fourth-generation farmer in the Eagle Valley area and a retired educator. She is seeking public office for the first time.

“I am concerned about the rural quality of life in our community,” said Johnson. “There are many issues I am interested in. We have a fabulous community here and I would like it to be fabulous into the future.”

Johnson is a current member of the Eagle Valley area structure plan steering committee.

All candidates say they are prepared to take part in any candidate forums.

Division 6 candidate Wim Nam could not be reached at press time.

Incumbent councillors Bruce Beattie (Division 4), Al Kemmere (Division 7) and Duncan Milne (Division 3) were re-elected by acclamation on Sept. 18.

Advanced voting for Mountain View County’s municipal election takes place Oct. 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Dan Singleton

Dan Singleton is the editor of the Mountain View Gazette who joined the newspaper in 1994. He covers news, municipal politics and community events in Mountain View County. He is also a longtime columnist for other publications of Mountain View Publishing.