September 25th, 2018

McKenzie becomes one of just two women to declare in Cypress County election

By Tim Kalinowski on September 22, 2017.

Michelle McKenzie is running for election in Ward 1 (Hilda/Schuler), making it a three-person race between McKenzie, Shirley Roy and incumbent Art Squire.

McKenzie, a former school bus driver who works as a flagger and owns a cattle farm near Schuler, is only the second woman to declare her candidacy in Cypress County this fall.

“I think they need a woman’s perspective in there; I really do,” McKenzie says of the current county council. “At the same time, I have also spent most of my life pretty much working with men, so I’m not intimidated by the idea of being the lone female in there in any way, shape or form.”

McKenzie says her big issues she is running on in her ward are access to rural Internet, better roads and maintaining cemeteries.

“My big concerns are the Internet, TV, cell phones and stuff like that,” she confirms. “We don’t get anything out here (for service). If elected I would like to get something going with that.

“Another one for me is the roads: To figure out how we can maintain our roads for everyone in our ward and keep people safe.

“We also have a lot of old cemeteries in our ward, and they are neglected and not taken care of. These are former residents who built our towns, and they deserve a little bit of dignity … I would like to see more county money going toward maintaining these cemeteries or finding out who is responsible for maintaining them and getting those fixed up.”

McKenzie believes her local concerns are also county-wide concerns; particularly when it comes to roads.

“I drove school bus for a very long time, and I have been on all the roads in the entire county. And there are some that are far away from everybody. When they are in the far corner like that, the repair tends to get pushed back. These are school bus roads and people use them every day, and they need to be in decent shape so they are safe for everybody.”

McKenzie, whose father Alvin Drath farmed on the same homestead where she lives today, says she would bring a strong, rural perspective to council if elected.

“I am all about the land,” she says. “I love this place more than just about anything, and I am all about preserving our history and way-of-life for future generations. There are certain things out here you get from rural living you can’t get from the city, and that’s what I’d like to preserve and hand down to the next generation.”

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