Long time Sylvan Lake resident Chris Lust has put her name forward for a position on town council.
Combining 40 years of municipal experience with her work as a collaborative community leader, Lust feels she will “bring a strategic focus to the challenges of growing a community which is balancing the needs of residents with its tourism economy”.
At the top of her list is “responsible governance that takes into consideration the competing demands of investing in essential infrastructure, maintaining quality of life and ensuring fiscal sustainability”.
During her career, Lust has worked in five different municipalities. She came to Sylvan Lake in 1979 as its first recreation director. Here she met her husband, Barry, now a retired H. J. Cody High School teacher, and raised their three children. After six years with the town, she did contract work while raising her family. Then she worked with the Town of Lacombe for 16 years and has been at the City of Red Deer for the past seven years. She’s currently divisional strategist with Community Services, a position she described as project based.
An active volunteer, Lust is currently chairperson of the town’s Community Services standing committee, a member of the Centennial Celebrations Task Force, the town’s Subdivision and Development Appeal Board and chairperson of Activ8 Sylvan Lake, a group which is starting to promote physical activity of residents. “More people, more active, more often,” is their goal. Last year she was on the town’s Municipal Planning Commission.
Among her goals are having an engaged community where people feel they are being heard and have the opportunity to be involved in decisions that affect their lives and creating a vibrant and inviting downtown core — “a really happening place where we can create an experience both for local residents and people coming to our community”.
“Creating a healthy business environment will be important to retaining current businesses as well as encouraging establishment of new enterprises … Strategic downtown revitalization is essential to bringing vibrancy to the area.”
Lust added she’s “pleased to see what’s happening in the Municipal Development Plan in terms of walkability. We need to look at it differently from what we do today. Design subdivisions so they’re convenient to walk and bike where you need to go, it’s easy to get there.”
Her interest there goes back to her physical education background. “We need to get people healthier.”
It’s important,” Lust said, “to provide recreation and culture facilities as well as preserve Sylvan Lake’s many outdoor opportunities. These essential quality of live components ensure that the interests of young families and seniors alike are protected.”
Another interest of hers is safety. “It’s one of the things I’ve thought about a lot. A parent can kiss his or her child at the door and send them to school knowing they’re going to be safe. That covers a whole lot of things.” Lust said, “it’s about being welcoming and inclusive as a community.”