County administrator taking a run at city council
Red Deer County’s information technology manager is stepping out from behind the scenes to make a run for Red Deer city council.
Darren Young says he has always been interested in politics but hasn’t run for council because of the difficulty of working in public service and campaigning for a spot in the same constituency.
“I offer an interesting insight,” said Young. “I don’t think you see very often people that actually work within the administration actually running for office. For instance, I believe I can bring a real-life, hands-on understanding of how the government works.”
The 48-year-old father of three has worked on the technical side of municipalities for 20 years. He’s worked in Lethbridge and Medicine Hat. Since 2008, Young has worked for the county and lived in Red Deer.
Young is running under the Red Deer First banner, a slate of council candidates that apparently so far totals five. Young is the second member of the slate to announce his intentions. Calvin Goulet-Jones announced last week that he is part of the newly-formed group.
Young said he considered throwing his hat into the ring previously but he was new to the city and he was unable to put the resources together for a strong campaign.
“An unknown either has to have a lot of money to get some face time and some public awareness or they have to be well known within the community,” said Young. “This works well for me. ... That’s why I am running with this particular group but more so because my strategies align with them.”
Young said he can bring ideas to council from other municipalities that may be a good fit in Red Deer.
While his group mentions a number of focus areas, Young said for him it’s mainly about reducing the city debt, improving public safety and accountability.
Also confirmed running for city council are Lawrence Lee and Matt Chapin. Four councillors, Paul Harris, Dianne Wyntjes, Lynne Mulder and Buck Buchanan, are seeking re-election. Councillors Tara Veer, Frank Wong and Chris Stephan have not confirmed their intentions. Coun. Cindy Jefferies and Chad Mason are running for mayor.
The municipal election is Oct. 21.