An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Tighe had volunteered with St. Albert Minor Hockey. Tighe had volunteered with Crowsnest North (CNN) Minor Hockey. Further, a transcription error has been corrected: Tighe said the county had seen few new businesses in four years (not 40 years.)
A duck and quail farmer and the former CAO of Bon Accord have stepped forward to challenge Patrick Tighe for leadership of Division Five.
Patrick Tighe, Vicki Zinyk, and Jacob Middelkamp have officially registered as candidates in the race to become Div. 5 councillor in Sturgeon County.
Division 5 is bordered by highways 2 and 28.
The incumbent, Tighe, is the owner of Edmonton’s First Ticket Printing and is seeking his second term in office.
“I feel somewhat compelled growing up and being part of the region to help out where I can,” he said.
Tighe, 53, said he had donated to and volunteered for many community groups while in office, including the Morinville & District Chamber of Commerce and Crowsnest North Minor Hockey.
As councillor, he had advocated for road improvements in his division and the development of the Lamoureux Trail. If re-elected, he said he would continue to identify high-traffic roads in the county and lobby for improvements to gravel roads.
“That is the single service that 100 per cent of residents and stakeholders utilize.”
Tighe said he would continue to promote the Alberta Industrial Heartland, and called for better planning when it came to attracting business and investment to the county.
“We kind of dropped the ball on Champion Petfoods,” he said, and the county had seen few new businesses in the last four years.
“I think we need to be more business-friendly.”
Tighe said he struggled with the recent land-use bylaw before council and ultimately voted against it.
“I’d like to see better engagement with residents and stakeholders to understand what the fallout is going to be,” he said.
“If it’s going to be too detrimental to those folks, it may have to be rescinded and rewritten.”
Zinyk, 55, is the general manager of North Parkland Power and was the CAO of Bon Accord from 2009 to 2016. During that time, she oversaw the town’s passage of a new land-use bylaw and municipal development plan, its establishment as Canada’s first Dark Sky Community, and its recently completed annexation bid from Sturgeon County. She also served three years as Thorhild’s utilities director.
“I have a real passion for seeing the county succeed,” she said, and she had extensive knowledge of municipal regulations and economic development.
“I believe I have the knowledge, the skills and the commitment to do the job and represent my division.”
Zinyk said she had a consultative approach to work and deep knowledge of the Bon Accord region. She had also served three terms on the county’s economic development board and volunteered at many county events and with the Heartland Elks.
If elected, Zinyk said she would analyze the county’s current services for cost-effectiveness and review its maintenance standards, especially for roads.
“I want to make sure we’re building reserves,” she continued, citing the county’s ongoing infrastructure challenges, and she wanted to create a strategic business development plan that would encourage all companies to grow.
Zinyk said she would ensure county, town and city recreational services received proper support from the county.
Middelkamp, 64, is a duck and quail farmer who lives north of Gibbons and a former volunteer fire chief in Redwater.
He has served as a director with the Alberta Chicken Producers, the Chicken Farmers of Canada, and the United Farmers of Alberta, and ran in the 2013 election.
“I’m broad-minded. I know what governance is and I know what bylaws are,” he sad.
If elected, Middelkamp said he would focus on paving roads in subdivisions where financially feasible and drawing more industry to the county. He also wanted to ensure everyone benefited from the major industrial revenue that the county was set to get in the near future.