By Jeremy Appel on September 22, 2017.
There are three new challengers looking for seats on Redcliff town council in the Oct. 16 election.
Shawna Cockle, Chris Czember and JD Gaetan are running against incumbents Catherine Crozier, Larry Leipert, Eric Solberg and Jim Steinke.
Coun. Chere Brown opted not to run for re-election, while Coun. Dwight Kilpatrick is facing off against incumbent Ernie Reimer in a two-person mayoral race.
Cockle said she believes her extensive involvement in the Redcliff community will serve her well on council.
“I’ve always been on non-profit boards, volunteered in my community, and have always thought that this would be something I would be good at,” she said.
Cockle has sat on the recreation, minor hockey, skating, block parent and school council boards, among others.
“I have, for the past 10 years, volunteered my time to do income tax for free for low-income people in Redcliff,” she added.
Brown is a close friend of Cockle’s and encouraged her to put her name on the ballot.
Chris Czember said his run for council is based on the reverence he has for the institution.
“Dealing with council in the past has always been a positive experience. I’ve always respected them,” said Czember. “I want to be part of the future decision-making process of Redcliff.”
Czember owns two bars in town, Who’s on Third and BB’s Doll House.
He said he’s been contemplating a run for council since he was 19, about 20 years ago.
“I see around the town a lot of empty commercial space, so I would love to do anything to attract any new business, especially any new industry, that could bring some jobs to the area,” said Czember.
“The economy is top of mind,” he said. “The new find of helium by the City of Medicine Hat nearby sure is appealing. There could be a lot of upswing for the service industry side of helium.”
JD Gaetan, who’s lived in Redcliff for a decade, said his political experience is limited to “school politics.”
“I don’t think a new face is always a bad thing,” he said. “It will definitely be a steep learning curve but I’m definitely interested in willing to take that challenge.”
Gaetan said he wants to attract more residents and businesses back to Redcliff.
“Our town needs to look at hosting bigger events,” he said.
Gaetan hopes to attract the 2020 Alberta Summer Games, or even the Southern Alberta Summer Games, which the town hasn’t hosted since 1991, as a means of bringing people to Redcliff.
There are six seats up for grabs, so all but one of the council candidates will be elected.
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