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Municipality of Crowsnest Pass Election 2017 — Meet the candidates

Wednesday, 11 October 2017. Posted in Shootin' the Breeze

Municipality of Crowsnest Pass Election 2017 — Meet the candidates
Municipality of Crowsnest Pass Election 2017 — Meet the candidates

By Caitlin Clow

Seven candidates are running for six positions in the council chambers in Crowsnest Pass. The incumbent mayor, Blair Painter, was re-elected by acclamation in September, but a few new faces are seeking to fill some seats.

The incumbent councillors and new candidates met with residents of Crowsnest Pass during a public forum at the MDM Community Centre in Bellevue on Oct. 4.

Gord Lundy

20171004 Gord

Gord Lundy’s background includes over 30 years in municipal government and administration, starting with work for municipal councils in High Level. He slowly made his way south to Crowsnest Pass, where he retired in 2010.

“I have worked with 11 different councils in four different municipalities to deal with the wants and needs of each of those municipalities,” he told the audience.

“I believe that my experience in doing that lends itself to assisting the new council to carry out their duties for you.”

His top priorities concentrate on developing Highway 3 in an objective manner, growth and economic development in Crowsnest Pass and the development of a fire protection strategy to better serve the community.

Dean Ward

20171004 Dean Ward

Incumbent councillor Dean Ward has been a resident of the Pass for the last 34 years and has served 10 years on the municipality’s council.

“During that time, I gained a tremendous amount of experience,” he said. “I have established a reputation as a councillor that will ask the tough questions and make tough decisions.”

Dean pointed to accomplishments of current council to illustrate how working together can lead to many positive changes.

“In the last four years we reinstated the Hillcrest fire hall and the pool society, we rebuilt our administration team, we upgraded our facilities, infrastructure and equipment fleet, we built a swimming pool, we’re moving forward with the new seniors lodge and a major upgrade to our sewer plant,” he said.

“At the same time, we held tax increases to an average of 1.5 per cent.”

Dean said he wants to be re-elected to continue moving the community in the right direction while further expanding economic development through the Grassy Mountain project, tourism and other industries.

Leslie McCallum

20171004 Leslie McCallum

Leslie McCallum moved to Crowsnest Pass after she fell for the community during holidays and work conferences here. She decided the Pass is the perfect place to retire.

Since her semi-retirement from a career in government, Leslie has given back through coaching, teaching, working with agencies and sitting as a board member for the Crowsnest Pass Senior Housing Committee.

“I am very proud of our accomplishments of getting a senior lodge on the go for both lodging and dementia,” she said.

But, she believes there are areas the community can improve.

Creating jobs is Leslie’s main focus, she said.

“We don’t have enough jobs for skilled people,” she said. “I think if we can support small business, look for opportunities with larger organizations like Riversdale, we will be able to move forward together.”

Marlene Anctil

20171004 Marlene Anctil

Marlene Anctil was born and raised in the community and her family history is rooted in coal mining in the area. She served on council for the past term and seeks to be re-elected to continue serving her community.

“I feel we’ve made tremendous strides moving this community forward,” Marlene reflected on council’s last four years. “A large part of our success was the rejuvenation of our volunteer base and our volunteer committees.”

Marlene currently sits on a number of committees as a council representative, including the subdivision development appeal board, senior housing board, parks and recreation authority, protective services advisory committee and Crowsnest Pass Pool Society.

In her time on these community-driven committees, a new swimming pool was built, the seniors lodge is ready to break ground, upgrades were completed on the sports complex and soon more will be done with the curling club and arena.

“I am the council’s representative on the protective services advisory committee,” she added. “We started with two and now we have 10 reps from our protective agencies which are dedicated to your safety in this community.”

“We still have a long way to go to keep our community going forward and that’s why I’m running for another term.”

Dave Filipuzzi

20171004 Dave Fillipuzi

Dave is a Crownest Pass native who decided to run for council four years ago.

“I gave myself a promise that if you elected me as your councillor and I did not contribute in a positive way, or we as a council did not move the community in a positive direction, then I would not seek re-election,” Dave said.

Upon reflection of current council’s successes, Dave said he believes he and his colleagues have followed through and fulfilled this promise.

“We worked together to bring our community to a place where we’re moving forward,” he said. “We put together a strategic plan to invest in our facilities and in our community.”

Improved equipment, high levels of service to residents, strong relationships with neighbouring jurisdictions and governments and open communication are a few of Dave’s priorities.

“I need your thoughts, your input and your ideas to bring forward for discussion,” he said.

Doreen Glavin

20171004 Doreen Glavin

Incumbent councillor Doreen Glavin has lived in the Pass all her life. She is rooted and invested in the area and hopes to be re-elected to council to continue serving the members of her community.

“My last four years as councillor have been challenging but a rewarding experience,” she said.

“It was good serving our community and being part of a team that worked well together making our community safer, healthier and happier.”

She pointed to a list of the current council’s accomplishments, which included the future development of the state-of-the-art senior centre, increased services and low taxes.

Lisa Sygutek

20171004 Lisa Sygutek

Lisa Sygutek, editor, owner and publisher of the Crowsnest Pass Herald, threw her name into the ring for councillor and, if elected, wants to make the community a more desirable place to live through new industry and improved recreational options.

“We’re not going to do any of this if we’re not going to figure out where the heck the highway is going to go,” she said. “If we put pressure on the government right now to tell us where the highway is going to go, we can open this place and make a strong industrial base.”

Lisa, a fifth-generation resident of Crowsnest Pass, said she returned home to start a family after completing six years of university.

Her number 1 priority is getting industry to the area.

“We are a dying community, by standards, with 90 per cent of our tax base being residential,” she said. “In order to get development, we need to have industry and the industry that we have is Riversdale.”

“We hope that works out and we should be proud of our coal mining history in this community.”

Residents will vote in six of these seven candidates on Oct. 16.

Read more in this week’s online edition here.
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From the October 11, 2017 print edition of Shootin’ the Breeze.
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