Chernoff seeking council seat; believes getting young people involved is important

Megan Chernoff learned the value of volunteering while still in high school in Castlegar, B.C.

Megan Chernoff

Megan Chernoff

Megan Chernoff learned the value of volunteering while still in high school in Castlegar, B.C.

“My family have always been huge volunteers,” she said.

When she moved to Sylvan Lake seven years ago, it was just natural for her to seek opportunities to volunteer. She’s currently on the town’s Municipal Planning Commission, review committee for Northeast, Southeast and South area structure plans, Family & Community Support Services board, and has been involved with the Optimist Club and other town events.

Now she’s announced she’s running for a seat on town council. “I feel like running for council is the next step. There are so many things I’ve gotten into I’d like to dive a little deeper,” said the 26-year-old.

Planning is one of the areas that interests her as it has interested her father. He’s Kevin Chernoff and has been a city councillor at Castlegar since 2005.

Her father “always encouraged me to share my voice and passion for my community. He always said that community or the sense of community is what is the heart and soul of where you live.”

Chernoff operates her own marketing business and works from home which gives her flexibility in her schedule to do the volunteering and time to spend on council duties if elected.

Expanded health care in Sylvan Lake is one of the topics that she’s concerned about. “I’m excited to do more, we can advocate like crazy,” she said, noting the decision will ultimately be made elsewhere.

“I’d love to see the downtown continue on with revitalization.”

Chernoff is also intrigued by Sylvan Lake’s population. “When I read the census, a huge population of the town is under 35 but they’re not represented on council. I’d like to see diversity sitting around the table.”

Reflecting on her own situation, she believes getting young people involved is important. “If you grew up volunteering, actively involved, it’s always something you will do,” she said. “If we get more young people involved they will grow up and do the same thing.”

Chernoff believes Sylvan Lake is a great community with a tremendous future for all generations. “It’s a place I’d like to raise my kids and a place my parents can come to and be happy as well.”

“I am passionate about growing our community and getting our youth and young adults involved in shaping Sylvan Lake’s future,” she said. “Equally important as our younger population are our seniors. We need to insure our seniors are treated with dignity and they have the ability to have their voices heard.”

Besides health care, she promises to be a “strong advocate” for “housing that seniors can afford and can expect to live out their lives in whatever form they choose”.

Asked about the reaction to her candidacy from friends and acquaintances, she said “a lot of people are not surprised. Most of the people I’ve spoken to so far have been very supportive. I’m excited to get out some more.”

To learn more about her check her Facebook page, Megan Chernoff for Sylvan Lake Council.