Beiseker residents meet candidates at forum
Residents asked candidates for the Village of Beiseker by-election questions about the village’s mill rate, snow removal, unsightly premises, attracting business and children’s activities at a forum, July 9.
About 75 people turned up for the event that took place at the community hall.
“I was really pleased with the turnout,” said Beiseker resident Don Simmons, who said he attended the event to hear what the three candidates had to offer as councillors.
Beiseker residents Warren Wise, Ken Nicholas and Melanie McCullough are running for the councillor position.
The position was vacated when previous mayor Bruce Rowe became MLA for Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills in April’s provincial election.
Ray Courtman was elected by council to step into the role of mayor on May 14 leaving a councillor position open.
Each candidate had five minutes to introduce themselves before a public question and answer period.
Nicholas said he came to Beiseker from Calgary for a two-year trial period.
“It’s eight-and-a-half years later. It worked,” he said.
McCullough said her energy and passion are what drove her to put her name forward for the councillor position.
“For those that know me, they know I’m quite energetic. I can’t sit still,” she said.
Wise joked that he read about the pay and perks of MLAs before deciding to get involved in politics.
He said he wanted Beiseker residents to keep in mind councillors are “essentially volunteers” who “do their best and get really no remuneration.”
“I bring good work ethic and honesty to this position,” he said.
Rob Calver, father of three and resident of Beiseker for 12 years, asked whether the candidates had infrastructure, activities or programs planned for children, noting he has to take his children to Irricana to go skating.
Calver said he feels frustrated with the way Beiseker is geared toward seniors and activities for children would help draw people to move to the community.
“I know it is hard to swallow in Beiseker as an older community,” Calver said admitting that there are few children and more seniors in Beiseker.
Wise said it is important, but the Village needs to look at the best ways to spend money.
“You say you go to Irricana, but they have shut down the splash park this year. They can’t afford it,” he said.
Nicholas noted a skateboard park was built in Beiseker in 2011.
McCullough said she has no problems researching grants or asking people for donations to support children’s activities.
“We need to focus on getting people involved (in donating and planning children’s activities).”
Calver said he is pleased there will be a by-election and found the forum informative.
“That’s the way it should be,” he said.
The by-election will take place July 23 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Advanced polling will be held July 16.
Both will be held at the Village of Beiseker Administration Office.