Morinville race has many names
By: Kevin Ma
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 25, 2013 06:00 am
Morinville residents will see a record-setting 22 names on the ballot this October as what is likely the biggest electoral race in town history gets underway.
Some 23 people filed nomination papers Monday at the Morinville town office to run in the 2013 civic election. This included four mayoral candidates, 17 council hopefuls and two school trustees.
That dropped to 22 on Tuesday when candidate Dale Cunningham withdrew his name from running.
Murray Knight of the Morinville Historical and Cultural Society said his group believes this is the greatest number of people to run for town council in Morinville’s history, or at least in the last 70 years.
Running for mayor are Coun. Sheldon Fingler, Deputy Mayor Lisa Holmes, Shotgun Sally’s owner Christa Naughton and Lions Club president Carrie Foss.
Acclaimed as trustees for the Greater St. Albert Catholic School district were Brendan Kaup and incumbent Noreen Radford. Nominees for the Sturgeon School Division were not released by the district until they were confirmed.
Six seats, 16 names
There are six seats on council up for grabs and 16 people vying for them.
Running for re-election are incumbents Nicole Boutestein and David Pattison.
Challengers previously profiled in the Gazette include Stephen Dafoe, Wayne Gatza, Lawrence Giffen, Brent Henry, Rob Ladouceur, Jackie Luker, James O’Brien, Gordon Putnam, Joseph Trapani and Barry Turner.
At 19, Brennan FitzGerald was one of the youngest people to put his name forward for town council Monday. “I think there’s a place in leadership for young people, and I think it’s time to get some of that voice into a governing body.”
This election’s huge turnout is an indication that Morinville is dissatisfied with how things are getting done, said FitzGerald, who graduated from Morinville Community High School in 2012. “We need councillors who take the initiative to engage with the public on a personal level.”
FitzGerald said he would be an open, accessible representative if elected, and would always make himself available to talk. “I’m all for meeting you at the local coffee shop.” He had also participated in many community events.
Candidate Jennifer Laurence, 36, owns Posh Weddings and has lived in Morinville for 30 years. A member of the St. Jean Baptiste Festival committee, she also volunteered with the recent People for the Steeple campaign.
“Morinville’s a great place to raise a family,” she said, with a lot of potential. “I just want to really listen to residents so I can implement their ideas and suggestions.” It’s time for the 30-somethings in town to step up and make a difference, she added.
An education assistant at Georges H. Primeau Middle School, Ruth Shymka said she decided to run for council this week because she wanted to give back to her community. “I’m dedicated to the town of Morinville and I want to see it remain and improve.”
Shymka, 53, said her eight years on the provincial executive board of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and two years with the CUPE national literacy committee gave her the leadership experience she needed to be on council.
Candidate Brandy Keenleyside could not be reached by deadline.
All candidates can now post election signs in town provided they follow the town’s land use and traffic bylaws, said returning officer Jennifer Maskoske. Advanced polls will be at the town office on Oct. 9 (4 to 8 p.m.) and Oct. 19 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Mail-in ballots are available on request.
Maskoske also needed 10 residents to serve as poll clerks – a paid position. Anyone interested should call her at 780-939-4361. Election Day is Oct. 21.