A candidate has come forward in Rocky View County’s Division 3 for this fall’s election.
Kim Magnuson, a 10-year resident of Springbank, is hoping to be a member of the new council after election day, Oct. 18.
“A lot of people have been asking me to put my name forward for a number of months,” said Magnuson. “I was asked to be on the Reeve’s Task Force, and that gave me another direction for a while.”
Magnuson, a nurse, has long been an active member of her community, volunteering for organizations such as 4-H and the Calgary Western Riders.
But it was about four years ago that the mother of three became involved in a new way.
“After I started becoming concerned with local development issues, I became part of the Springbank Planning Committee and the Central Springbank Taskforce,” said Magnuson.
Politics isn’t new to Magnuson. She has been involved in federal and provincial elections in Saskatchewan.
“I grew up in quite a political family,” said Magnuson. “My dad was a reeve, so I understand that there is a lot of give and take when you are in the position of reeve or council.”
Although Magnuson thought about running in this year’s election, it was the recent Task Force public meeting held at Balzac that convinced her to put her name forward.
“I came home that night and decided that I would have to run for council,” said Magnuson. “There are such a variety of concerns…how do we tie this all together and come up with a compromise that suits everyone?”
A key issue for Magnuson is development within the county.
“I think the Growth Management Strategy (GMS) that they (council) approved last year has had a great deal to do with the present council’s future vision,” said Magnuson. “The population growth that they predict in a rural municipality concerns me, particularly because of the infrastructure that is going to be needed. I don’t see how we can afford to keep building.”
Magnuson keeps herself abreast of all the issues, investing hours each week reading council minutes, and studying documents such as the Land Use Framework, the County’s GMS and the Calgary Metropolitan Plan.
“I have boxes and boxes of information and documents,” said Magnuson. “I am concerned about what development has been approved (by council) and where it has been approved.”
Magnuson would like to see the County revisit the idea of nodes, which she says will become bedroom communities, with commuters going into the city daily. She is also concerned about the development that would likely surround the nodes.
“It just seems an easy way for the city to spread and it is already way too big,” said Magnuson. “I would like Rocky View to remain rural. I do think that further growth should take place in the existing towns and hamlets. It prevents further sprawl and keeps the farmland intact.”
Magnuson says it is time for the County to head back to the negotiation table with the Calgary Regional Partnership, as being part of the organization would provide more options for water and sewer servicing.
According to Magnuson, the County is lacking in garnering input from residents and providing information to all affected stakeholders.
“If you aren’t close to a proposed development, you don’t know about it,” said Magnuson, adding that became clear to her during the Bingham Crossing Mall decision-making process.
“Instead of just reaching the people in the immediate vicinity, the community as a whole needs to know what is going on. Because they will be affected by development, they need some input.”
If elected, Magnuson says she will be available to listen to concerned residents.
“I understand there is going to be a lot of travelling, work and a lot of time away from home,” said Magnuson. “I am prepared to do that. I want to hear what people have to say: good, bad and ugly… because that is the only way you can understand what is going on in a community.”