Candidates unveiled for City council and mayor
Camrose voters will have fewer candidates to choose from in this next election than four years ago.
In 2013, there were 20 people vying for a spot on council and three for the mayor's chair, this year there are 12 candidates for council and three for mayor.
Wayne Massick has joined Mayor Norm Mayer and Coun. Bill Sears in the mayoral race. In the election for the eight spots on council, the other seven current councillors are running for re-election – Agnes Hoveland, Kevin Hycha, Max Lindstrand, David Ofrim, PJ Stasko, Wayne Throndson, and Greg Wood. Joining them on the ballot are Tim Doering, Julie Girard, Anthony Holler, Cathie Johnson, and Niel Parker.
The 15 total candidates are much more in line with the normal regular selection of candidates for a civic election in Camrose.
"It might be indicative of the community saying that they're feeling comfortable with what's happening because you're not seeing other people step forward and maybe this council feels they've got some things they'd like to see finished off," said returning officer Kim Isaac.
There are several important issues for debate in the coming month including, the current diversification of the economy in the face of a slow to recover oil patch, the role of council, vision for the city's future, the completion of four major projects – the aquatics centre, public works building, water treatment facility, 48th street bridge – infrastructure, forming a working agreement with Camrose County, among many other issues.
The Camrose Chamber of Commerce is hosting two debates at the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre, on Oct. 4 and Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. The Camrose Public Library is also hosting Speed Dating with the Candidates on Oct. 12 at 6 p.m., giving the public a chance to sit down with the people running for council and mayor.
There will also be three more information sessions available for the public at the Public Library on Sept. 22 from 1-3 p.m., at the Camrose Kodiaks hockey game on Sept. 29 at 7 p.m., and at the Seniors Centre on Oct. 3 from 1-3 p.m.
There will be three advance vote dates set up for council chambers for those who are unable to make it to a polling station on election day: Oct. 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 11 from 1-7 p.m., and Oct. 14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
On election day, voting booths will be set up at the Mirror Lake Centre, Camrose Community Centre/Field House, Camrose United Church, Century Meadows Baptist Church and Sparling Elementary School. There will also be institutional travelling voting with voting booths brought to six different institutions for their residents: Bethany Meadows, Rosehaven, Sunrise Village, Deer Meadows, RoseAlta Lodge, and Viewpoint.
"It used to be you could only go to an advanced vote if you were not planning on being in town on election day," said Isaac. "But there is now no requirement that you have to be absent from the jurisdiction, so you can come and vote on any three of those advance voting days."
For Camrose County, all seven councillors are running for re-election: Jack Lyle in Division 1, Kenneth Krause in Division 2, Reeve Donald Gregorwich in Division 3, Trevor Miller in Division 4, Brian Willoughby in Division 5, Gregory Gillespie in Division 6 and Doug Lyseng in Division 7. There will only be two contested seats, Division 2 with Cindy Trautman running, and Division 5 with Robert Lee putting his hat in the ring.
County manager and returning officer Paul King said this was an average turnout for candidates.
"I was happy to get a nomination from each of our divisions," he said. "In some of our past elections we've waited two or three days past the nomination day to get our full slate of candidates."
He added there were not any scheduled debates by the county as of yet and as of Monday, polling stations were not yet verified, though they would likely have voting booths set up in Edberg and New Norway for Division 2, and Bawlf and Ohaton for Division 5.