There will be two new faces on Foothills County Council along with four incumbents acclaimed and one incumbent re-elected.
Only three seats were up for grabs in the election with Div. 7 Coun. RD McHugh earning re-election along with newcomer Don Waldorf for Div. 6 and Barb Castell for Div. 3.
Incumbents Suzanne Oel, Div. 4, Rob Siewert, Div. 1, Delilah Miller, Div. 2, and Alan Alger, Div. 5, were all acclaimed.
“It’s been a hard-fought little battle,” said Castell. “I door-knocked hundreds of homes so I was pleased with the results. (Voters) really had issues with CMRB (Calgary Metropolitan Region Board) and we did talk about that at every stop, the rural crime and another big one was the traffic safety on the rural roads – it’s just becoming a problem and someone is really going to get hurt.”
Castell, who served two terms on council from 2007-13, said she’s eager to get back into the role, noting there will be some learning curves along the way.
“I was on two terms before and enjoyed it and took another path and took on three other kinds of jobs and when the councillor of the area (Jason Parker) didn’t run, I thought I’m throwing my name back in the hat,” she said. “It means a lot that I can get to work and I think the CMRB is something we really need to look at, I think that’s my number-one goal is to get that solved.
“You always have to remember that when you’re absent for a while things do change and you do a lot of listening at first, you don’t just walk in there gangbusters and telling everyone what to do. You go in and find out what’s happened on council and the feel for it and you get to know the other councillors.”
McHugh was elected for a second term for Div. 7 with 368 votes to edge out challengers Wayne Anderson and Janet Andrusiw, who received 183 and 116, respectively.
“I’m very happy with the results,” McHugh said. “I campaigned really hard and it’s always good to make that connection with the electorate. I had a lot of conversations on transportation and a lot of conversations on water.
“And it’s nice to have that vote of confidence. I had some pretty strong comments on economics going forward here. I think the vote shows they like what I’m doing and that I can stay the course.
“I’m pretty excited on a second-term and to hopefully see some things to fruition on transportation and see if we can address these water concerns.”
Pounding the pavement to meet voters and one-on-one communication was what McHugh attributed to his successful campaign.
“I didn’t miss very many doors,” he said. “It’s the one-on-one contact and talking to people and hearing their concerns and showing you’re listening.”
Waldorf steps into the Div. 6 seat previously held by Larry Spilak, who passed last November after a battle with cancer.
“I was thrilled with the results, I know that Division 6 hasn’t had much representation in the last year since Larry passed away and I’m really keen to get started,” Waldorf said. “I’ve got huge shoes to fill and lots to learn, but really everyone has just been so supportive.
“I’d like to thank everyone that came out to vote (Monday) because I know the lines were a little bit long and the weather was cool. I’ve had a fantastic team who helped me from getting signs prepared to writing brochures, they’ve just been fantastic.”
Waldorf said his background in the community as a resident since 2003 and a former community manager at the Lake at Heritage Pointe has allowed to him to have a pulse on the area.
“It’s kind of allowing me to hit the ground running because I’ve already had so many dealings with Foothills County admin staff, working with the fire department, working with protective services,” he said. “There’s so much to learn, but I think I can hit the ground running with some of the basics and know who to deal with.
“My broad-based experience might have made the difference.”
Unofficial 2021 Election Results Div 1: Siewert: Acclaimed Div 2: Miller: Acclaimed Div 3: Castell: 275, Laura Kendall: 224, Hugo Bonjean: 177, Dan MacDonald: 202, Div 4: Oel: Acclaimed, Div 5: Alger: Acclaimed, Div 6: Waldorf: 493, John Callister: 215, Div 7: McHugh: 368, Anderson: 183, Andrusiw: 116.
For more information go to mdfoothills.com.