Returning officer Frieda McDougall holds up a voter information booklet that will be mailed to city residents next week.

Returning officer Frieda McDougall holds up a voter information booklet that will be mailed to city residents next week.

Record number of candidates expected to file papers

Red Deer’s civic election is shaping up to be one for the record books.

Red Deer’s civic election is shaping up to be one for the record books.

Returning officer Frieda McDougall said there has been a steady flow of residents asking questions and picking up candidate packages for mayor, council and school board positions.

Nomination day is on Monday, when the papers must be filed at City Hall.

The city will then release an official list of those running for city council or public and Catholic school boards.

As of Thursday, 36 candidate information packages had been picked up for city councillor, eight for mayor, nine for Red Deer Public Schools and eight for Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools.

Red Deer city council has nine positions (mayor and eight councillors) and each school board has seven trustees.

Four candidates have already declared publicly they will run to replace departing Mayor Morris Flewwelling.

And 26 candidates, including five incumbents, have been said they want to sit on city council.

“I expect we’re going to be very busy,” said McDougall. “If what we have given out is any indication, we could have in the neighbourhood of 30 candidates for council; potentially five for mayor.”

In 2004, a record of 25 candidates ran for city council.

But McDougall says anything can happen on nomination day.

“I do think there will be some fall-off,” said McDougall. “But we really do not know until we get there.”

The civic election will also include a plebiscite question asking: Do you want the city divided into wards?

McDougall said nomination day is a big day for people running an election and those supporting the democratic process.

“I like to see the candidate interest,” said McDougall. “It says a lot for our community and engagement. For me, this is a good day. It’s good to see people coming out.”

Candidates must file their completed nomination papers between 8 a.m. and noon Monday on the second floor of City Hall.

Candidates running for all offices must have a minimum of five signatures from eligible voters who support their nomination.

Nomination papers for the Red Deer Regional School Division areas outside of Red Deer boundaries can also be filed at the town offices in Rocky Mountain House, Sylvan Lake, Innisfail and Olds.

An individual is eligible to be a candidate in the election if, on nomination day, the person is eligible to vote in that election, has been a resident of the local jurisdiction for the six consecutive months immediately preceding nomination day, and is not otherwise ineligible or disqualified.

More information is available at www.reddeer.ca/reddeervotes.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com