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Town council candidates share their visions for the community during forum

Voters head to the polls on Oct. 18

Stettler candidates for Town council detailed their stances on a variety of issues during a forum held Sept. 27.

Candidates include Kurt Baker, Cheryl Barros (incumbent), Gord Lawlor (incumbent), Jim Lynham, Scott Pfeiffer (incumbent), Travis Randell and Wayne Smith (incumbent).

Sean Nolls has been acclaimed as mayor.

Barros started the evening off by outlining her experience in the community.

“I’ve barely scratched the surface of what I feel I can add to our Town council and how I can contribute to the Town’s mission,” she explained. “I believe that I have brought both a solid work ethic and a different perspective to council.”

During the past four years, she served on initiatives including the Hospital Foundation Board, Physician Recruitment, the Heartland Beautification Committee and the Fire Advisory Board.

“My aim has been and will continue to be the uplifting of all of our constituents’ lives, businesses, and experiences within Stettler. I’m also proud that council has worked hard, along with the help of Town staff, to maintain a balanced budget while keeping in mind the economic hardship that many have faced over the last two years,” she said.

Lynham noted that Stettler is a very special place comparatively speaking with other places he has called home.

“I’ve chosen to spend the most time of my life here, and some of the reasons are because of the community engagement, and the opportunity to participate in all kinds of activities that are usually over-subscribed in other communities,” he said.

“Stettler has always been really good for me,” he said, referring to the friendly nature of the community as well.

“I’m objective and I like to be a team player,” he said, adding that he’s also very aware of issues that relate to project management and contracts, for example.

“We all enjoy this community and appreciate the opportunities it affords our families at any age – it doesn’t matter what age you are – there’s a place here in Stettler for you,” he said.

Smith said over the years he’s been involved in many community projects and groups.

“The service we provide on council is one of collaboration and it’s a steady, forward movement that we have progressed with,” he said, adding that council’s accomplishments aren’t measured individually but collectively.

“I am proud of the part I’ve had to play in many of the things that are going on around town,” he said, pointing to the community orchard and garden for an example. “I was the chair of the FCSS board which of course provides very important and essential social programs in Stettler.”

He was also involved in the creation of an Airport Master Plan which will help with funding applications for better infrastructure for upgraded services, he said.

“I take it very seriously that I represent the people of this town and try to bring their individual concerns and suggestions into the council decisions that we make.”

Pfeiffer noted that he serves on a number of boards including the FCSS board, the Stettler Board of Trade, the Economic Development board for the Town of Stettler, the Rotary Club of Stettler and the Performing Arts Centre board.

“I would like to continue to serve on Stettler Town council – it’s been a great experience and it came at the right time in my life,” he said. “I’ve had the privilege and honour of working with some great people on council who have taught me along the way as well,” he added.

Pfeiffer said the council also has a very good working relationship with one another and with the Town staff and management. “I (also) believe I can bring more experience and some of the knowledge I’ve gained into the next term.”

Baker explained that his qualifications run the gamut from his passion for the community to having a vested interest in the Town as a business owner and being the parent of two young boys. “I’m community-minded and community-active,” he said, adding he’s a director on the Stettler Board of Trade and Community Development. He’s also been with the Kinsmen for six years and served as a local soccer coach.

Through his business, he’s also supported various local fundraisers.

“I like to contribute and I have a broad understanding as to what makes Stettler special. Should I earn your vote, I promise to do my best to keep Stettler strong and keep it a great place to live and to do business.”

Randell said he believes that council needs to be well-rounded with a variety of perspectives that represent the diversity of the community. He added he would bring the perspective of a young family man who runs a local business as well.

“My vision for Stettler is a prosperous, safe and healthy community where people feel safe, want to raise a family and ultimately retire. My priority on council would be to provide quality leadership that would support my vision of providing a high quality of life for our residents and visitors.”

Key areas include housing, heath and wellness, industry trade and tourism, he said.

“I promise to be transparent in my actions and follow through on my word working with council as a team to create the best Stettler possible.”

Lawlor noted that he is accessible, attentive, and he’s been involved in many community initiatives from the Heartland Youth Centre to Victims Services. He has also served on the Board of Trade, the Library Board, the Economic Development Committee and the Stettler and District Ambulance service.

Lawlor noted that he would continue to serve with the same passion as he did on his first term – with a great deal more knowledge and awareness.

His vision for the community is sustainable and thoughtful, planned growth without losing focus on the need of residents and businesses to continue to prosper in the town.

Meanwhile, advance voting for council runs Oct. 12-15 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Town of Stettler office.