There are now 24 candidates running for a Red Deer City Council seat.
Cindy Jefferies, who sat on council for three terms from 2004 to 2009, is among those who will seek one of eight council seats.
Bruce Buruma, Brenda Campbell, Jason MacDonald, Lisa Spencer-Cook and Dax Williams are the most recent to announce they are running, according to the city’s election website.
Buruma, a senior administrator at Red Deer Public Schools, said Red Deer is an amazing city that faces “real challenges that require vision and courage to bring positive changes for our future,” he said, adding he is running because citizens are looking for new ideas and fresh perspectives.
Buruma said the city must be responsive, competitive while supporting local businesses and economic development and diversification must be priorities. The city must continue to be responsive to crime, create a comprehensive plan for addictions and homelessness and continue to push for hospital expansion.
Campbell says she is running for council “to support you from a grassroots perspective with a common sense approach to finding common ground, and making things happen as efficiently and effectively as possible.
“I’ve worked as a school counsellor for 20-plus years where my primary role is to listen,” she says on her biography on the city’s election website.
Jefferies would like to see the downtown energized and revitalized.
“Our downtown needs a boost. Our approach cannot remain the same if we expect change,” says Jefferies.
The city must also encourage opportunities. “Economic development is successful when we are strategic. We must reach out, build relationships, and invite innovation.”
Jefferies said issues like drug and alcohol addiction, mental health, homelessness and crime take a toll on the community. “Caring about and for one another is the only way through.”
Spencer-Cook ran LV’s Vinyl Cafe in downtown Red Deer before the pandemic. She received the Mayor’s Recognition Award for community building in 2020 for her work in raising awareness for neuro diversity, live music events, and her advocacy for downtown Red Deer.
“I am an advocate for the neurodiverse and differently abled, a lifelong ally of the LGBTQIA2S+ community. I love music, the arts, and I’m a parent to a pretty cool 8-year-old.”
Williams says he is an entrepreneur and father and a lifelong resident of the Red Deer area.
“I believe that a healthy city provides much of the infrastructure that holds together a prosperous community that facilitates growth in diversity, opportunity, and ability.”
Among his priorities is the revitalization of the downtown. He also wants to see a reassessment of the city’s land development policy, more done for economic revitalization and a plan to replace the downtown The Hub on Ross, which was closed last fall.
They will join Graham Barclay, Kraymer Barnstable, Calvin Campbell, Matt Chapin, Michael Dawe (incumbent), Grace Joy Engel, Sarah Harksen, Hans Huizing, Sadia Khan, Chad Krahn, Ryan Laloge, Lindsay LaRocque, Lawrence Lee (incumbent), Jozef Mihaly, Sheyi Olubowale, Harish Ratra, Janise Somer, and Dianne Wyntjes (incumbent).
Six candidates have so far officially filed papers indicating they are running for mayor of Red Deer in the next municipal election: James Allen, a former cadet who’s held various jobs, joins retired police officer Buck Buchanan (incumbent), businessman Dwight Hickey, retired banker Ken Johnston (incumbent), former oilfield supervisor Brad Magee, and electrician and entrepreneur Jeremy Moore in the race.
The municipal election is on Oct. 18.