Variety of questions mined ideas, support of candidates

The variety of questions posed to 10 council candidates during last Friday’s forum hosted by Sylvan Lake Chamber of Commerce

The variety of questions posed to 10 council candidates during last Friday’s forum hosted by Sylvan Lake Chamber of Commerce indicated the diversity of the crowd of about 140 people who spend two and a half hours at the event.

(Several of the questions have been the subject of separate stories on other pages of this issue of Sylvan Lake News and online. In this story we’ll try to touch on the other questions. Each question was posed to three candidates. In total 18 questions were answered.)

Asked about support for local business and where they purchased campaign signs, all three candidates, Neil Evans, Chris Lust and Jas Payne, said they dealt with people living in Sylvan Lake, some who had businesses in Red Deer.

Promoting and attracting cultural and community events and the importance of partnering was the essence of a question.

Charlie Everest noted the success of Jazz At The Lake and Shake The Lake. He also added the town has $100,000 in trust from the Heart of Town Association for a band stand. “We need to get community groups together and market the best we can,” he said. “Get the local community involved, as many volunteers as we can.”

“If you want to keep the community happy, keep them busy doing stuff,” said Jas Payne. Noting the Jazz and Shake festivals, he added the Art & Soul benefit at École H. J. Cody School and the plays they do “simply makes our town better. How cool would it be to have a festival centre, we’ve got to have a place to house them. If we don’t celebrate the arts here we have a tendency to go in the wrong direction. We’ve got to celebrate our kids. I hope the new multiplex will have that kind of facility built it.”

Chris Lust said she’s a “big supporter of the arts. This is a really rich artistic community. I think they’re a little scattered. I’d like to see more coordination, co-operative things happening … celebrate talents we have in our youth and in adults. I’d like to see us look seriously at cultural facilities, it’s certainly an area I would support.”

Wendy Sauvageau said performing arts are dear to her heart. She’s looking forward to the multiplex, and a place where the talent we have can be celebrated. She asked how many have been to Spring Sing.

Asked about the future role for the library in arts, culture and youth development, all candidates who answered supported its role.

“I’m a big supporter of kids and education,” said Dale Plante. “We have a phenomenal staff here, they’ve now embarked on taking over where the archives was with an expanded library. We need kids reading. Libraries aren’t just for kids, there’s lot for adults.”

Megan Chernoff described herself as “a huge supporter of the library. It provides such an amazing host of activities for all kids, it needs our support. The library has e-readers, lots of things for adults as well.”

Graham Parsons said he supports future funding for the library because they “really go out to engage the community”.

Jas Payne suggested the idea of linking community and school libraries since the latter are getting smaller. “It makes the community library more important. Kids are reading less, we need to support our libraries.”

Other questions dealt with plans for a Rogers telecommunications tower on the west side of 60th Street; ideas for social services to keep up with population growth; future plans for youth programs and facilities; unsightly businesses along Highway 20; green space in industrial areas; multiplex planning and land banking.