Q&A with Town Council candidates

The final few candidates answer question a week prior to the election

Each week prior to the election, the Sylvan Lake News will be featuring several candidates running for town council.

Each of the 14 candidates running for council have been given the opportunity to answer the same six questions, and will be shared in question and answer format.

This week the News is featuring Deborah Wiens, Daryl Carriere, Matt Prete, Star Roshuk and Barry McGeough. Unfortunately, some candidates were unable to meet the press deadline.

Deb Wiens

A qualified mediator, Deborah Wiens brings to the table years of working experience in both the provincial and federal government. Currently, she is the Detachment Supervisor with the Sylvan Lake RCMP, and an avid volunteer.

Wiens says she has been an active volunteer in every community she has lived in, beginning at the age of 13 when she volunteered as a candy striper at her local hospital.

On top of her volunteer experience, Wiens has also sat on many boards in the communities she has lived in. She has sat on committees within the government such as the Alberta RCMP Policy Committee for Health and Safety and on the RCMP Labour Management Committee. She has also sat on a library board and served as a condo board president for seven years.

Q. What do you want to accomplish and how will you get it done?

A. I want to look at several concerns that I believe the town currently has. 1. Infrastructure – mainly the project of how we are going to tie into the regional system. I want to make sure all areas are looked at, and the project is kept on task. This needs to be completed in a timely, cost efficient manner. 2. The revitalization of downtown – I want to look at putting in rules and regulations as to what new businesses need the front of their venues to look like. 3. Seniors – I want to look at what is planned for the future for available housing for seniors should they need to move out of their homes. We need to make sure our seniors are safe, comfortable and not only feel valued but are valued. Finally, 4. I want to look at the current by-laws, if they are relevant, and if they are enforceable. If they are not, we need to amend them, and/ or make them stronger.

Q. What would you like to see changed?

A. “Changed’ is always a buzz word in my opinion. I don’t feel that it is an accurate statement when it comes to Sylvan Lake. I believe that change for the sake of change is not necessary. We, as a town, need to look at areas that need to either move in a different direction, or needs to be improved on. Recently Town Council brought forward the paid parking for certain key areas in Sylvan Lake. Is it perfect? No. Does it need to be amended? Possibly. As a town, we need to look at the revenue that is brought into Sylvan Lake with paid parking, and we need to balance it against the costs of running the program.

Daryl Carriere

Daryl Carriere is a business man with more than 15 years experience. He also studied political science while attending school.

Carriere is a tax paying citizen of Sylvan Lake and says he is tired of seeing “increase after increase.”

Q. What issues face Sylvan Lake today?

A. There are many issues that fellow Sylvan Lakers have brought to light since entering the race. From HWY 781, to geared-to-income housing, the old cottages throughout town, the downtown vacancy, the lack of signage attracting local and out of town business, VLT’s, boat launch and parking fees, and tax hikes, to name a few.

Q. Why should people vote for you?

A. I want to earn your vote, and will take this elected position seriously. I will bring accountability back to our great town. If you have any questions, please find me on Facebook: Carriere for Sylvan Lake Council.

Matt Prete

Having already served one term as a Town Councillor, Matt Prete is hoping to add another term to his accumulating experience. Through his role on Council, Prete has sat on numerous committees and boards.

He was also involved with the vision and planning for the NexSource Centre.

Q. Why are you running?

A. As you know I have served one term on Council and it has truly been a great learning experience, I really enjoy being at the table where the direction for the town is being laid out and the decisions are being made. Sometimes making a decision is very difficult and there are no clear cut solutions, unfortunately we have to deal with a lot of gray, black and white decisions don’t come to Council very often. The one principle that I have always used in the decision making process is to always make the best decision for the Town as a whole, never make a decision based on the politics. I have a firm belief that if you always make the best choice for the Town the politics will take care of themselves. I guess this election will prove or disprove that theory!

Q. What issues face Sylvan Lake today?

A. There will always be issues to work through whether it be aging infrastructure, development pressures, downtown revitalization, recreation needs and general service levels just to name a few, identifying them isn’t hard, the biggest challenge is always how do you pay for them, what is the balance between any of these issues and the taxes required to pay for them. Municipalities are responsible for over 70 per cent of the daily infrastructure we all use so finding balance is always the number one challenge.

Star Roshuk

Candidate for council, Star Roshuk hopes to bring her experience as a health and safety advisor to the council chambers.

Her work in health and safety has given her the tools to assess situations and “expose all possible liabilities” and looking at all possible consequences before work begins.

Q. What would you like to see changed?

A. There really is not too much that I would like see changed in our community that hasn’t already been identified and addressed such as a Culture Master Plan, Increased revitalization of the downtown, Waterfront Redevelopment Strategy and water/waste water. I feel as though our current Town Council has done a wonderful job and I like the direction they are going. I would like to continue to support these plans already in place and just bring some of my and your creative ideas to the table as possible solutions to when a hurdle arrives.

Q. What do you want to accomplish and how will you get it done?

A. When I listen to the longtime residents of Sylvan Lake and to the many visitors of our town, I love seeing their eyes light up with fond memories as they tell me their stories of Sylvan Lake from a time before now. I want to be able to help continue creating those fond experiences for all those who live here and visit by ensuring that our municipality has the fundamentals needed for a growing town and balance of all other services to ensure that we will maintain being a viable place to raise our families, retire, grow business and support tourism.

Barry McGeough

Experienced as a small business owner, Barry McGeough hopes to use his background to promote and support local businesses if he is elected to town council.

Q. What issues face Sylvan Lake today?

A. I see many challenges facing this community and the families that make up this town. With interest rates on the rise and the ever increasing cost of food we have to be careful about the taxes and utility fees that the people are facing as we go forward. These have both been on the rise lately as they have in other communities across our homeland. We still have to address the present and future needs for water and sewage treatment as our town grows. A new sewage treatment plant is a high dollar expenditure that will add substantially to the Town’s debt load. As we address these issues we still have to be cautious about our pensioners and those on fixed incomes that we do not drive them out of their homes and onto the street with high taxes and fees.

Q. What do you want to accomplish and how will you get it done?

A. We do need to focus on infrastructure to move the town forward. Where do we want this town to be in 20 years? We need long term solutions we can afford. We also need to promote and support local business to get it back into a growth cycle. Without business growth, the burden of expense falls to the home owner. When we support local business we are helping ourselves at the same time.

The 2017 municipal election will be held on Oct. 16. Polls will be held at the Community Centre from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters are asked to bring photo I.D. with current Sylvan Lake address at the time of voting.



megan.roth@sylvanlakenews.com

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