The Western Wheel is speaking to municipal election candidates in Black Diamond about their platforms.
There are 10 candidates running for six council positions in Black Diamond. We will feature candidates each week over the next three weeks. Alberta’s municipal election will be held Oct. 18.
Smart growth, improved communication and services that are in line with taxation are the top issues Randy Brown wants to address.
Brown is running for the first time on council and said there is a need for new blood.
“It’s time for a change especially with amalgamation coming,” he said. “I think it’s a pivotal moment in Black Diamond history. We always want to make sure we are heading in the right direction.”
Addressing growth in the small town is at the forefront, Brown said.
“Being born and raised in Okotoks and spending a lot of time in Cochrane, I see the things to do and the things to stray away from when it comes to keeping that small-town charm,” he said.
Brown said the taxes in Black Diamond are already high and it's important residents see the value in what they are receiving from the Town.
“Getting the most out of tax dollars, whether it is snow removal or street upgrades,” he said.
Information sharing and communication from the Town needs to improve, Brown said.
“If you are going to find anything it is just deep in the Town minute notes agenda document,” he said. “Communication and transparency are some of the things I’ve heard people want changed the most.”
Brown can be found on Facebook, reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 403-671-1103. He will also be at the candidate meet and greets Friday nights starting at 5:30 p.m. at Hard Knox.
A first-time council candidate said transportation, summer camps for kids and snow removal are some of the issues he wants to address if elected in the upcoming municipal election.
“I want to be part of the changes that happen around here,” Fleming said.
His first priority is establishing transportation for Black Diamond residents, Fleming said.
"We need a plan out here,” Fleming said. “There is no taxi service. There is no public transportation so to speak. There is no safe way to get from A to B if they’ve had a drink. For people who don’t have a vehicle, there is no way for them to get around.”
Fleming has been on the Parks and Recreation committee for two years, is a member of the Lions Club and is on the 2023 Summer Games Board. He also fundraised $11,000 for improvements and modifications to Black Diamond’s skate park.
Fleming would like to see summer camps for children offered in Black Diamond, as well.
“We could actually employ people to run these classes and charge people and create an economy and get a better recreation service out here for the children and help parents out,” he said.
The Town should also have a better snow removal plan, Fleming said.
“Having a backup plan is necessary,” he said. “Like private contractors who can help out. Like when we had that big dump last year, it was kind of a gong show because they only had so much equipment to deal with it.”
Fleming said he thinks amalgamation will create a cost savings and plans on running for council when the Towns amalgamate. He said if elected to the new united town council, he would like to start a discussion about affordable housing.
Fleming can be reached at email@example.com and said he will be talking to people at his store, Rollick Co., and when he is out and about in the Town.
A new timer to political life, Dunning said he thought about running for council after looking into the handling of snow removal following a major snowstorm last December.
“When I pulled their policies from the Town website, they had the policy there and they had the contingent that if there was a super storm or it was bigger than they could handle they would contract it out,” he said, adding that he feels the Town should have done better. “That’s why I want to throw my hat in the ring and see if I can help out.”
Another issue Dunning is looking into is taxes and the amount of service residents receive from the Town.
“I’m actually doing the research right now on our mill rate and is it comparable to other small towns or are we paying too much,” he said. “Even the recycling – we don’t have curbside recycling. We don’t have proper snow removal.”
Dunning said the leadership and business skills he learned during his 14 years in the military and as a business owner will make him an asset on council.
“I have lots of experience and formal leadership training,” he said. “I’ve been senior vice-president of a construction company…I worked my way up and then I hung my own tile and started my own safety business so I’m familiar how to run a business.”
Keeping the Town’s small-town feel is also important he said, adding that places like Canmore have been able to maintain their town’s look and feel by requiring construction design that suits their esthetic.
Dunning can be found on Facebook, by email at Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone at 403-332-0529. He will also be holding a meet and greet outside Hard Knox Brewery at the gazebo tonight (Sept. 29) from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.