The Western Wheel is speaking to municipal election candidates about their platforms. We will feature three candidates each week over the next couple weeks. Alberta’s municipal election will be held Oct. 18.
A first-time candidate said he would like to be part of moving Turner Valley forward.
“I’d love to see Turner Valley becoming a stopping point on Highway 22,” Hill said. “I see lot of traffic go through, specifically on weekends, making their stop ins in Black Diamond on their way down the Cowboy Trail. I see a blank canvas in Turner Valley, where there is lots of opportunity to begin and flourish here.”
Hill grew up in the area and lived in Black Diamond for a number of years before moving to Turner Valley last year. He said his goal is to serve the community if elected to council.
“Just through talking with friends and neighbours I was encouraged because of my views, my standpoint on a few things and just my passion for the area to run for council,” he said.
Over the next year, if elected, Hill said it is important to make the amalgamation process seamless from two councils to one.
“I’ll definitely be as active as I can be to make that a smooth transition for the next council,” he said.
One thing he’d like to address is creating more outdoor opportunities for the growing number of young families moving to the town.
“Maybe we can do a little more,” he said. “Talking with some friends and residents who have brought it up, some bike paths.”
Improving the outdoor skating rink is also something Hill would like to discuss if elected to council.
Hill also likes the idea of creating an off-leash dog park in the town.
Incumbent councillor Cindy Holladay said she is hoping to carry on in her role without skipping a beat.
“My general approach is I’m ready to go,” she said. “This is hopefully going to be a one year term. So, it’s laying groundwork for amalgamation. Because I’ve been heavily involved, I’m really ready to go on that.”
Merging staff is going to be a top issue moving forward with amalgamation, she said.
“We are going to have to be finding a fantastic human resources consultant,” Holladay said. “Merging two organizations is going to have to be done very well.”
Development and increasing population are issues that Holladay would like to see council addressing well.
“Our real estate market’s definitely been changing,” she said. “So keeping up the planning and development processes and some of the improvements we’ve made in our term – keeping that going and keeping it running smoothly.”
Parks and pathways is also a priority.
“We just started phase one of a new park on the Sheep River that is going to be fantastic,” she said. “Being on the parks and recreation committee, that is definitely an interest of mine.”
Holladay said she appreciated the civil relationship of the council over the last four years.
“We are able to speak our minds and have respectful discussions and the administration we have now is fantastic,” she said.
There have been a lot of changes in financial reporting and council involvement over the last four years, she added.
“We went from a small to a large budget package that was way more comprehensive,” she said. “Now all of council is on the finance committee.”
Retiring from the Town after 25 years may be just the start of serving Turner Valley residents.
Long-time Town employee Hazel Martin has been planning local events, like Discovery Days and New Year's Eve party, and more recently has been providing municipal support for all departments.
“I was fortunate to work for the Town for the last 25 years and it was a wonderful experience and I’ve recently retired and I thought this would be a good time for me to throw my hat in the ring to give back to council and the community in which I’m of,” she said.
Her years of work with the Town give her insider knowledge, even though this is her first time running for council, Martin said.
“I have a broad knowledge of Town operations which gives me an insight of how to represent the citizens of Turner Valley,” she said.
Martin said she is hoping that the Town will go ahead with curbside pickup of recycling and organics, freeing up the current recycling facility to be an eco-centre.
“It could be the main collection point for your electronics, paint cans, oil containers, batteries, glass and cardboard,” she said.
Connecting the Towns pathways should also be a priority next term, Martin said.
“We have some amazing pathways but all they need is a little connector,” she said.
This year’s elected council will need to be looking carefully at how the Towns can best amalgamate.
“The biggest thing is identifying our efficiencies within the two communities,” she said.
Looking at the Town’s assets and determining infrastructure priorities will also be important, said Martin.
Martin can be found on Facebook or be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.