Strathcona Votes 2013 - My Picks

The papers are in and barring any last-minute developments, the candidates list is set for the upcoming Strathcona County election.

Since moving to Sherwood Park a few years back I have spent much time observing the local government and learning about its elected officials.  While not the most informed guy in the county, I’ve got a fairly good handle on the situation.

Long before Nomination Day I’ve been asked my thoughts on the upcoming election and who I am going to support.  Up to now, I have only stated my support publicly for one candidate who’s Ward I don’t happen to live in. 

Now that the papers have been submitted, I’m going to go ahead and give you my picks.  (I won’t cover every ward, just point out candidates that would benefit the county).

In Ward 1 we have incumbent Victor Bidzinsky facing two challengers: Murray Hutchingson and Ben Proulx.   

My pick: Ben Proulx.  A fresh perspective from an experienced journalist who has covered County issues will serve his constituents, and Strathcona County, well.  www.ben4ward1.com

Ward 2 – where I live – is wide open as incumbent Roxanne Carr is in the race for Mayor.  Dave Anderson, Ryan Osterberg, Dan Carter, and Nicole Vankuppeveld are vying to represent the area.  While I believe more than one candidate would do well, to me one stands above the rest. 

My pick: Ryan Osterberg.  If he commits to what he promises with regards to fiscal responsibility and government transparency, he could be a top-level councillor.  Bonus points for taking a common sense approach to the hospital issue.   http://www.ryanosterberg.ca/

Ward 4 is another open ward that sees Lynne Marie Kaiser, Carla Howatt, and Joseph Akle competing. 

My pick: Carla Howatt.  A regular attendee of Council meetings, Howatt’s commitment to the job would never be in question.  She has helped me become familiar with the local government scene more than anyone.  Another candidate vowing to re-examine the hospital issue, Howatt will always work from the perspective of what’s best for the citizens of her ward as well as the County.  This one’s an obvious choice.    http://www.howatt.ca/

…which brings us to Ward 8, aka The Gong Show.  Incumbent Jason Gariepy goes up against challenger Fiona Beland-Quest.  Beland-Quest, wife of provincial MLA Dave Quest, offers a healthy mix of business and volunteer experience as well as a clear vision of the County.  Gariepy, the centre of a self-inflicted ‘scandal’ which became a mini-Anthony Weiner story, surprised some by standing for re-election. 

My pick: Fiona Beland-Quest.  While it’s difficult not to go with the challenger just by default, Beland-Quest presents the opportunity for more than just change in the ward.  She is a more-than-worthy candidate would will serve the voters effectively.  And she may show up for more than just the odd committee meeting.    http://beland-quest.com/

Mayor is a tough call.  Current Mayor Linda Osinchuk has done a satisfactory job, but some residents believe we can do better.  Challenger and former councillor Roxanne Carr thinks so, and is Osinchuk’s only opponent in the race.  Has Strathcona County done well with Osinchuk at the helm or would Carr’s ideas and leadership be more beneficial?   

My pick: will be determined at the ballot box. 


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