The race is on for Black Diamond council
Election 2017: Candidates discuss their visions for new term
Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 06:00 am
With amalgamation, development and infrastructure at the forefront, candidates seeking a seat at the Black Diamond council table could have a lot of work ahead of them.
The race is heating up with councilors Ruth Goodwin and Mike Ross battling for the mayor title while Dean Anderson, Ted Bain, Sharon Hart, Chelsey Kehler, Veronica Kloiber, Daryl Lalonde and incumbents Brian Marconi and Jackie Stickel vie for a seat on council in the Oct. 16 municipal elections.
Goodwin, who served one term on council, is ready to take on the duties of mayor.
“I believe that I have a lot to contribute and I would like to take our town to the next level of discussions as to where our residents would like to go,” she said.
Goodwin said she would like to see council continue work on repairing and replacing damaged infrastructure as well as seeing bylaws updated, utilizing provincial and federal grants and focusing on finding renewable resources to save utility costs.
If elected, Goodwin said she would focus on improved communication with Turner Valley, as well as in the broader region and province.
“I would like to get on some AUMA committees and go to those meetings and see how things are run at a provincial level,” she said. “If you contribute at the provincial level to see how things are done you can better represent your community and region and you get a better idea of how things need to be done.”
Coun. Stickel, who also served this past year on council, hopes to see work continue towards potential amalgamation.
“At this point in time it’s a logical step for me,” she said. “The bigger we are the more strength and options we may have.”
Stickel said she would also like to see the new council works towards seeing a full pathway loop through Black Diamond and Turner valley.
“It would be good for the community as a whole and maybe help with economic growth,” she said.
The Black Diamond resident of 36 years sat on town committees and boards including parks and recreation, and was a recording secretary for the Subdivisions and Development Appeal Board.
While new to politics, candidate Bain said his belief in working as a team would make him a great asset on council, if elected.
“I want to work with whoever is elected to form a strong team that is able to tackle any challenges that Black Diamond has,” he said.
It was Bain’s involvement with the Black Diamond Development Corporation, formed in June to address residents’ concerns about the Mountain View development, that prompted him to run for council.
“The more that I got involved with different people’s concerns I became aware of other concerns like the water supply, infrastructure, things like that,” he said. “I basically decided that, hey, maybe I can make a difference.”
Bain said he supports development, but it should occur when sufficient infrastructure is in place so the Town doesn’t run into problems down the road.
Also new to politics is business-owner Kloiber, who submitted her name on the second round of nominations.
“I had already been thinking about doing it and then when I read that there were only five instead of six I put my name in,” she said. “I noticed a few people who I really admire were running and I thought I would really enjoy working with them.”
Among the issues Kloiber is eager to tackle, if elected, is amalgamation.
“There are so many variables it’s difficult to be a yes or a no,” she said.
Kloiber said, if elected, she also looks forward to working with council and staff on ongoing projects like upgrading infrastructure.
The businesswoman has experience working on budgets, receiving grants and being on committees, having previously served on the economic development committee.
Looking to return to the table is Hart, who was elected during a byelection in 2009 and voted back on council in 2010.
Hart said she didn’t run last term due to health reasons, but is ready to get back into the race.
“I want to get my feet back in there and understand a little bit more about what’s going on in the community,” she said. “I look forward to getting back with the other council members and also the committees.”
Among the topics of interest for Hart is amalgamation.
“I need to get myself back into what’s going on and what has been done and where we are at with that,” she said.
Born and raised in Black Diamond, Hart said it’s important to be a part of the process to see the town grow into a successful community.
The public can ask questions of the candidates during a forum at Oilfields High School Oct. 5 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
They can also meet the candidates at meet-and-greet sessions Oct. 4 in the High Country Lodge from 10 a.m. to noon and on Oct. 6 and 13 at the Griffiths Seniors Centre from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.