A mother of three who says she has “good old-fashioned common sense” has joined the field of Red Deer city council hopefuls.
Tanya Handley, 39, announced on Monday that her name will be on the Oct. 21 civic election ballot, bringing the tally to six political rookies and four incumbents in the running to fill the eight spots.
“My greatest asset is good old-fashioned common sense,” said Handley. “I honestly believe every dollar that is spent with tax dollars is my money essentially. I want it to be spent the way I would spend it — carefully. I have to live within my own means within my house and I expect the city to do the same.”
As a candidate under the Red Deer First banner, Handley said she shares the principles of fiscal responsibility, accountability and transparency.
Handley is married to Ryan Handley, Red Deer First spokesperson and the man behind the anti-bike lane petition.
Even before Red Deer First was formed, however, Handley said she was interested in pursuing municipal politics. The seed was planted during the building of the civic yards.
A few years ago, Handley wrote a letter to all members of city council expressing her displeasure on what she felt was excessive and extravagant spending.
Handley said she received two letters back and one offering advice: If you don’t like it, you should run.
Now that her children are a little older and the timing is better, Handley said she is happy to take the advice.
She is finishing up a hair styling apprenticeship through MC College. Previously, she has worked as a teller and account services at a bank.
Fiscal responsibility and communication are part of her platform.
“We need to get the city back on track,” said Handley.
“We are so far in debt. Spending has been out of control for probably the last eight years. The last few councils have been heading in the wrong direction, in my opinion. We need to get that back on track.”
Handley said the city needs to have more transparency with residents and points to the implementation of the bike lanes.
She said there were not enough surveys for the city to approve a project with a $800,000 price tag. Handley said the city should have tried to gather more input before proceeding.
Also running for council are Troy Wavrecan, Darren Young, Lawrence Lee, Calvin Goulet-Jones and Matt Chapin. 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.
Mayor Morris Flewwelling is not seeking re-election. Coun. Cindy Jefferies and Chad Mason are running for mayor.