Municipal elections see number of new candidates increasing
The mayoral race is also competitive with four candidates listed on the city’s website. Although his name is not yet on the website, Mayor Ted Clugston also announced on Friday his intention to run for City State and on Facebook.
Many of the new nominees come from diverse backgrounds, with differences in business, age, race, education or life experience.
“I think it’s really exciting. I think it shows that the people of Medicine Hat are looking for a change and they are looking for a government that cares about data-driven decision-making, that is accountable and transparent, ”said mayoral candidate Linnsie Clark .
Clark is the only candidate for mayor so far, and her enthusiasm has been shared with others, including city council candidate Bill Bergeson.
“We have retired RCMP, a retired firefighter, we have real estate agents, we have business people and community members with concerns they want to address. It will be an interesting election, ”said Bergeson.
For many of the new applicants, the love of community and the desire for change is part of the push.
“I always say that even in sport we have to change players because change is necessary. Politics too, I think we should give new people a chance and see what they can bring, ”council candidate Praveen Joshi said.
Mayoral candidate Alan Rose, however, believes more and more people are signing up just because they’re fed up.
“I think this shows real dissatisfaction with the current course of the city. If you look, we’ve had discussions about pandemic issues, we’ve had employment issues where the oil and gas has dried up, ”Rose said.
Since the nomination period opened in January, some board candidates and the public have called for the abolition of the old boys’ club, a term used to describe our current board for years.
But councilor Brian Varga said the board works more like a team and he doesn’t think an old boys’ club exists.
” I do not think so. We have differences of opinion when we often sit behind closed doors. Even in open counseling, we have a lot of time when not everyone is okay with things. It might look like this, but there is a lot of discussion going on before these decisions are made. Varga said.
Councilor Jim Turner said board experience is also a big plus, something he hopes to add if elected for a third term.
“It’s really important to understand that the council is the board of directors for the City of Medicine Hat and the City of Medicine Hat is a $ 400 million operation. So if you own stocks in your stock portfolio, wouldn’t you want someone to handle this with some experience? Turner said.
Turner added that while many candidates have criticized the current mayor and council, he believes they are doing a good job, and this is particularly evident right now during COVID-19.
“We had supports for businesses, we had supports for our residents, and a lot of communities couldn’t afford to do it,” Turner said.
The next municipal elections are on October 18.
A list of all running candidates is available here.