By Gillian Slade on March 8, 2017.
The number of people running for council in the fall municipal election is slowly increasing.
Retired teacher Jim Black has added his name to the candidate register. He says his decision to run is all about seeking an opportunity to be at the table where decisions are being made.
“I have always said that if you have a chance to be on the side where decisions are being made, why not try,” said Black. “I am always surprised that 50 or 60 people don’t run for council in an election.”
Black ran for council in the 2013 municipal election and in the 2015 provincial election as the Alberta Party candidate. Further back, in 2011 he ran and was elected to serve on the Palliser region health board before the days of Alberta Health Services. There were momentous decisions coming up for the health board and Black wanted to be part of those.
His previous attempts at running for council and in the provincial elections were excellent learning opportunities, said Black.
Deciding to run for council has nothing to do with being disgruntled about how things have been done.
“I’m not one of these upset citizens … Here’s an opportunity to be on the inside where the decisions are made,” said Black.
Black says he is reluctant to criticize decisions current council has made because when you are not on the inside you are not privy to all the pertinent information that contributed to those decisions. This can make it feel like the “hot seat” because there are times when pertinent details that can’t always be shared with the public, he said.
Being an effective councillor at the decision-making table requires a significant commitment in terms of background research, reading and understanding the issues, said Black. Time on the health board required a similar commitment.