Forum video screenshot

Forum video screenshot

Both mayoral candidates and 13 council candidates give views at forum

Sylvan Lake Chamber of Commerce hosted the Oct. 4 municipal election forum, which was attended by the two mayoral candidates and 13 out of the 15 council candidates.

Here is a review of candidates who are all looking to secure votes to serve as one of six councillors and mayor. Complete coverage of the forum that was telecasted live on the town’s YouTube channel can be revisited at www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vEFPmjHXls.

Mayoral candidates

Megan Hansen

I was honored to be elected to Sylvan Lake town council in 2013, and then again in 2017, and I’ve spent the past eight years learning, asking questions, and working to grow and build the town I am lucky enough to raise my young family in.

Since that first 2013 election, I have gained so much knowledge and experience. But ultimately many of my goals and values have remained the same. This time I am excited to put my name forward as a mayoral candidate. I have the current experience to know how to accomplish these goals, and I have the vision needed to lead our community out of the difficult times we have faced recently. I bring to the table experienced proven leadership. I am energetic and I care about making Sylvan Lake a town that we are all proud to call home.

Ted Iverson

My name is Ted Iverson and I am a long-time resident of Sylvan Lake. This was my 12th forum, my 12th municipal election.

I have been the mayor of this community previously for three terms, nine years, and also, I was a councilman for three terms.

My main issue I would say is climate change. I am a little bit of a scientist. I believe that we are in trouble and we need to work on solutions, especially at the municipal level, to find sustainable things that we can do to help the environment.

Council candidates

Teresa Rilling (incumbent)

Jim and I have lived in Sylvan Lake for about 11 years, and love it. We have three married children and 11 grandchildren. For the past four years I’ve been honoured to be a councillor for the town of Sylvan Lake. In August, I was appointed by the current council to be the interim mayor. I have always been involved in the community. After all, I was born in the middle of seven kids…so how could I not be community-minded.

Over the years I’ve been employed and volunteered with a number of non-profit organizations. I am also a motivational speaker and author. It’s my passion to make a positive difference in the lives of others. I believe a strong community is a connected community.

Graham Parsons (incumbent)

This is my first campaign speech from 11 years ago. It addresses all of the usual municipal fundamentals seeking development, planning, fiscal prudence, environmental stewardship, social programming, and so on. They were then, and still are today cornerstones of just about every candidate’s platform.

I have lived my life dealing directly with people, learning from others and their experiences. This has been the greatest gift for me. For those who know me, this experience, the integrity, the care for my community cannot be challenged.

Tim Mearns (incumbent)

I live with my wife and three children. We’ve called Sylvan Lake home for the past 29 years. I was first elected to council in 2017 and I am seeking reelection in 2021. I have served on numerous committees as well as on independent boards. I’ve been involved in business in central Alberta for over 17 years, working in communications and security, with experience in sales and operations.

I’ll commit to collaborating together with my council colleagues and community members to guide the decision made by the council and ensure they reflect the current needs of Sylvan Lake, as well as set in the foundation for future residents.

Jas Payne (incumbent)

I’ve been a member of the council for the last eight years. I’ve been an ardent Sylvan Laker for the last 13 years.

I’ve also been involved in numerous committees, boards, associations, the Yuletide Festival, Shake The Lake organizer, Sylvan Lake Minor Football Board member, Library Board, Municipal Planning Commission, among others.

My big focus over the last eight years has been and will continue to be on the youth of this community, on the programming that we need to provide.

Kendall Kloss (incumbent)

Thanks again for placing your confidence in me to serve for you over the last four years. The town of Sylvan Lake’s mission, vision and guiding principles serve as the foundation for my platform of being resident-focused and community-first.

During the past two years on council, I completed the municipal leadership program through the University of Alberta to better serve all of you. A combination of my connection to art communities through my teaching experience, voluntarism, service on committees, experience on council, and completing this program has led me to three main areas of focus. Number one, community programming…number two financial stewardship, and number three, transparency in communication.

Kjeryn Dakin

I am a mother of three, a businesswoman, who opened up three businesses from the ground up. I am a philanthropist and someone who just genuinely wants Sylvan Lake to reach its full potential. I want to keep our taxes low, our community thriving, and all of you Lakers smiling. I am the right choice at the right time.

It’s time for a proven leader with a fresh perspective in the council chambers.

Steven Bedford

I would like to acknowledge that we are on Treaty 6 territory, traditional grounds of the Cree, Saulteaux, Blackfoot, Métis, Dene, and Nakota Sioux.

I am proud to have lived here for the past 11 years. The town has given me a lot and it’s time for me to give back by running for town council. One of the main reasons I am running is to improve relations…in the town and its residents. For too long, there has been a division and there needs to be an improvement in the way the town supports the community and every individual who calls this place home. This needs to happen on both a bureaucratic and administrative level. I feel I am the right candidate to help us move in this direction.

Deborah Wiens

In essence, today is a job interview for me, and you’re the boss. You’re here to listen to my ideas and my thoughts.

My hope is that you look into me and your other candidates, and make a decision based on what you find out.

I am running because I believe that every single person who lives in this community deserves an equal voice. It doesn’t matter if you own, you rent, you’re a senior, a single mom, or a traditional family. Everyone deserves to have a voice and I want to be that voice.

Carl Kalveram

I’ve been in Sylvan Lake for about 17 years with my wife, Laurie.

It’s a big deal in my world that we do improvements at the dog park, we do lake access for dogs, it’s things that I am constantly working on. It’s challenging but it’s rewarding too.

It builds community when you get everybody together in my opinion, and I see good things happening, but we possibly, at this point, we have to look at some corporate sponsorship I think, maybe some naming rights for the dog park. We can’t put the taxpayer burden on everything.

Onsy Tawadrous

I am a first-generation Canadian and that makes me appreciate and cherish the values and the culture of this community. I have a bachelor’s degree in commerce and have worked in the field of community development, six years senior position with the oil and gas, I worked in agriculture for the last seven years. I served and I still serve on several committees and boards within the town here. With my wonderful wife, we own a pharmacy in the town…this is a personal service business.

I believe in the power of the community, I believe in the power of a healthy family, I believe in the power of prosperous families and businesses. I believe in less government, more community.

Teej Johannesson

I am a health coach and personal trainer by trade. I am the defensive coordinator for the Lakers football team. I am also head coach of the senior boys basketball team in Lacombe. I am married to a wonderful woman and amazing teacher at H.J. Cody High School, that’s what brought us here seven years ago.

I have great appreciation and gratitude towards Sylvan Lake and the people, the town, and the beauty of it. I want to make Sylvan Lake a place where people are proud to say that they are from it. Where they are going and bragging to people that I live in Sylvan Lake, I want to make it a place we can bring people here, to keep people here, and I want to be a voice for 15,000 people.

Laura Lauder

Sylvan Lake is my hometown, it’s my parent’s hometown. I love this place and I have a strong desire to see it be the best it can be. With many years of experience sitting on committees and societies, I know how to work with others to get things done.

The majority of Sylvan Lakers most likely didn’t know my name before this election, so I may not be your first vote, maybe not even your second and third. But I am okay with that because you can vote for up to six people. So, allow me to have the opportunity to be your fifth or sixth vote, to work with your top candidates to be able to make Sylvan Lake great and continue to be an amazing place for us to live.

Jordan Sinclair

I have been a Sylvan Lake resident for nine years, a long-time central Alberta resident, born in Regina, Saskatchewan, the son of a single father and a widower. Those who know me will bear witness that I am a community builder and I have service in my heart. I have an amazing partner of 27 years in my wife and my treasure, Barbara.

I have been recognized as a community builder, I have served our community in many boards and local initiatives, including the fundraising coordination for Shake The Lake, committee member in charge of fundraising for Kraft Hockeyville, local fundraising with Yuletide Festival, fundraising for the Sylvan Lake Lighthouse project, past chairman of the Municipal Planning Commission, currently a member of the Sylvan Lake Subdivision Development and Appeal Board, among others.