Morinville's potential mayors talk about their vision
By: Kevin Ma
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 06:00 am
For our last Q&A session with Morinville’s mayoral candidates, the Gazette turned to one of the organizers of Tuesday’s all-candidates’ forum: Linda Kilian, president of the Rotary Club of Morinville.
Kilian has been a volunteer in Morinville for decades, and wanted to know about its future.
“I would like to have our festivals known and enjoyed by everyone,” she said, and for the town’s recreation centre to be well underway.
But the town will need good plans if that future is to happen.
“If you can’t envision it, it’ll never happen.”
Kilian’s question: “What’s your vision for Morinville at the end of your term? What do you think you can accomplish at the end of your four years?”
Holmes and Fingler
Morinville will have a direction and a council with a clear vision four years from now, said candidate Lisa Holmes. It will have capitalized on partnerships with Sturgeon County and community groups, and will be more efficient due to an operational review and better communication with residents.
“We will have increased tourism through creative strategies like urban agriculture and the Incredible Edible initiative,” she continued, and more commercial development through the town’s economic development strategy.
“Morinville will be a leader provincially in innovative thinking and creative solutions to the challenges that we will be facing,” she continued, especially when it comes to equitable municipal funding.
She also hopes to see the completion of the Cardiff interchange through work with the province and Sturgeon County.
“My hope is that we’ll be talking about how the 2013-2017 term of council is the one that got things done, moved our community forward and set a direction that will help us to be stronger and more successful as we move into the future,” she said.
Candidate Sheldon Fingler said he hopes to have an independent efficiency review done in four years.
“Morinville’s residential tax rate needs to be more competitive within our region, and it will be,” he said.
He also wants to make the town more user-friendly to development.
“I plan to have an open house within the first 90 days of a new mandate to ask business and developers what is needed or what is missing,” he said.
The results of such a session would be shared with the public.
Fingler also hopes to have at least a temporary solution to Cardiff Corner in place after four years – perhaps improvements to sight lines and traffic flows.
Morinville will also improve its recreational facilities by either renovating the Ray McDonald arena or partnering with others to build a regional rec centre.
And he wants to enhance the town’s parks and trails. Specifically, he said the town needs to look at creating an off-leash area for pets.
“Whatever we do, it needs to be done in the next four years,” he said. “There are opportunities out there. We just have to start being creative.”
Foss and Naughton
Four years from now, candidate Carrie Foss said she saw the town working together to reclaim its small town feel.
“We have bulletin boards located at each mailbox with the Town Crier providing updates to residents,” she said, and council meetings streamed live to the Internet.
“We have an active council who interacts with our residents at a higher level than we’ve ever seen,” she continued, such as through coffee nights, meet-and-greets, and a booth at the farmers’ market.
Better communication would include businesses as well, Foss said, through a clearer development guidelines and open dialogue with businesses.
“We have DVDs about Morinville we use to enthusiastically market ourselves both for development and tourism.”
Foss hopes to have a new affordable housing complex built for seniors, students and single parents by 2017, as well as a new arena – one that would have bus service to an out-of-town pool. She hopes to see more parks, trails and an off-leash dog park by revisiting the parks and open spaces master plan, and to fix the town’s cracked sidewalks and roads.
“My one absolute commitment to this community is open government,” she said. “If it appears all of these goals are not achievable in the next four years, we together will set our priorities.”
Candidate Christa Naughton did not submit a response.
Town voters go to the polls Monday.