By Jeremy Appel on October 4, 2017.
Candidates for Redcliff mayor and town council, as well as, the Prairie Rose District School Board, touted their credentials at an all-candidates forum Tuesday.
The forum, which attracted 79 attendees, was held at Redcliff’s Parkside School.
Moderated by Lori Johnson of the RC Lions Club, the event began with introductory statements by each candidate, then proceeded with individualized questions, and finally audience inquiries.
Both mayoral candidates, incumbent Ernie Reimer and Coun. Dwight Kilpatrick, were in attendance, as were all council candidates except for newcomer JD Gaeten. All three Prairie Rose District School Board candidates for Redcliff — Pam Cursons, Arnold Frank and Meredith Conboy — were also present.
Kilpatrick was asked by the moderator about his priorities for the town in the next decade.
“When I look at Redcliff, we’ve done very well on a lot of small things, but when we sit and strategize, four years ago we had a planning session, we came up with 13 priorities and strategies. When we did it again, we came up with another dozen priorities.
“Amazingly enough, these same priorities came up in the second go-around as the first go-around, with the exception of two that we finally accomplished,” said Kilpatrick, who didn’t specify what the specific policies were.
Reimer said he wants to build on what he’s done as mayor if re-elected.
“I would like to take the opportunity to continue making Redcliff a vibrant, safe and enjoyable community to live in, the envy of the region.”
Reimer said he wants to facilitate more property sales on the town’s east side, which would expand its tax base.
Incumbent Coun. Jim Steinke, responding to a question from Johnson, emphasized the importance of the local library for bringing the community together.
“It’s a place to learn (and) a place to gather,” he said. “Every person in town should have a library card and experience the actual learning of the library.”
A member of the audience asked the incumbent councillors how many meetings they’ve missed in 2017 and the challengers how many they plan to miss if elected.
Eric Solberg, an incumbent councillor, said he missed about five meetings this year, which was due to his job at Goodyear.
“I try not to miss any more than that, due to illness or anything like that,” he said.
Coun. Larry Leipert said he only missed a single meeting in 2017 while on vacation.
Chris Czember, a challenger and local business owner, said he doesn’t intend on missing any meetings due to the nature of his profession.
“I’m self-employed. I can set my own hours. Actually, I’m technically working right now,” he said to laughter from the audience.
Coun. Cathy Crozier missed two meetings in 2017.
“One was in February, when my husband and I took a little vacation, and then one in August,” said Crozier. “I’m originally from Nova Scotia, which is where my family is. Both of my parents were diagnosed with cancer and my brothers requested my presence.”
Newcomer Shawna Cockle joked that she’s yet to miss any meetings.
“In all honesty, I have cleared my agenda for this,” Cockle said. “I take it very seriously. I was previously employed by the city and I resigned my position so I could dedicate my time to this.”
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