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Quentin Stevick new reeve of MD of Pincher Creek

Saturday, 11 November 2017. Posted in Shootin' the Breeze

Quentin Stevick new reeve of MD of Pincher Creek

Quentin Stevick, new reeve of the MD of Pincher Creek, plans to maintain an open-door policy with media and with constituents.   Photo by Caitlin Clow

Quentin Stevick new reeve of MD of Pincher Creek

By Caitlin Clow

Quentin Stevick, representative of constituents within Division 1 of the Municipality of Pincher Creek, will be sitting in a new seat during council meetings after being elected reeve by secret ballot on Oct. 24.

The new role means a lot to the rancher, originally from North Dakota.

“I take it as a great compliment that my fellow councillors would have faith in me to take this position,” he says.

The reeve position is filled internally, unlike mayoral positions, which are voted on by the public. Upon election, the reeve becomes the public representative of the council, Quentin explains.

“I have no more authority than any of the other councillors,” he says, noting that he may actually have less.

The reeve moderates and facilitates conversation and debate in the council chambers.

“In some ways it’s a little more restrictive as far as my role as a councillor within our council,” he says.

For example, the reeve cannot put forward any motions, something Quentin has done often in his past two years on council.

“Maybe there was a couple of votes because of that,” he teases. “ ‘Let’s see if we can get him to shut up!’ ”

The limitations won’t sway Quentin from representing his division, he says.

“If there is something that I feel very strongly about, I will ask the deputy reeve, Rick Lemire, to take the chair and take over the meeting, and I will make a motion,” he explains.

“But, I think with this council, we have such broad experiences that most of the time the thoughts that I have are probably going to be expressed by someone else.”

The rancher represents the MD’s lowest populated and most rural division, but as the Kenow wildfire illustrated, the division has some unique issues. Quentin reaffirms that he will continue to bring these issues forward to council.

“I look after my people, and they look after me,” he says.

As reeve, Quentin vows to maintain his open-door policy with media.  

“To me the cornerstone of democracy is a free and open press — we all know of countries where that is not the case — and I am so fortunate to live in a country where we can practise that,” he says. “It’s important that I promote that.”

To uphold this promise, he says he will continue to make himself available to the media, and the public, to answer questions.

In the wake of the Kenow wildfire, effective communication and transparency have been hot-topic issues in the region. Completing a review of the emergency management plan implemented on the evening of Sept. 11 is one of Quentin’s top priorities.

The Beaver Mines water and wastewater project, the new Castle provincial and wildland parks, the potential incinerator project at the Crowsnest-Pincher Creek landfill, and continued improvements to infrastructure and maintenance also make his list.

Rick Lemire, Division 2 representative, was elected during council’s organizational meeting and swearing-in ceremony to sit as deputy reeve.“He adds a great skill set to this council,” Quentin says. “I’m looking forward to adding his knowledge and experience to council.”

The MD council consists of five councillors, and Quentin says he definitely sees himself as one member of a team of five.

His number 1 goal as reeve is to work with neighbouring jurisdictions and “the government of the day,” and help facilitate a working relationship that betters the lives of the people who call the Pincher Creek area home.

Quentin says the the support of his wife, Anne, is the most important factor in his ability to represent the municipality and the residents of Division 1.