Two more city council candidates have entered the municipal election race — as well as three new candidates for the Red Deer Catholic school board.
Incumbent councillor Michael Dawe and new council candidate Harish Ratra join previously announced city council contenders.
They are Graham Barclay, Kraymer Barnstable, Calvin Campbell, Matt Chapin, Grace Joy Engel, Sarah Harksen, Hans Huizing, Sadia Khan, Chad Krahn, Ryan Laloge, Lindsay LaRocque, Lawrence Lee (incumbent), Jozef Mihaly, Sheyi Olubowale, Janise Somer, and Dianne Wyntjes (incumbent).
Dawe is a local historian who wants to run for a second term on council because “Red Deer is my hometown and I have a strong interest in my community and making it better.”
The latest police stats show a downward trend in crime, “but there’s still a lot to be done,” said Dawe, who also wants to grow the city’s economy through marketing efforts, as were started in Capstone, and with downtown incentives.
“We need to … make the city a more attractive place to visit and live,” said Dawe. He wants to continue removing red tape to development. A growing tax base is needed for the city to be able to financially deal with social problems and other issues, he added. “Municipalities can‘t run deficits so we have to generate growth.”
Ratra is an oilfield services manager with a business degree who has lived in Red Deer with his family for more than a decade. His priorities are lowering the tax burden on citizens while getting the city back to a stronger economic footing through diversification and capitalizing on our central location.
“Getting more businesses…would help generate employment opportunities for the city residents and have a positive impact on other commercial sectors of Red Deer’s small and medium businesses,” said Ratra.
Reducing the crime rate and promoting youth and children’s programs to get kids off of electronics are among Ratra’s other platforms. “I want to create stronger communities and a stronger Red Deer by being the voice of our people.”
Two incumbent city councillors have stated they will not be seeking re-election: Tanya Handley and Frank Wong. Mayor Tara Veer has also stated she will not be seeking re-election.
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.
Three Catholic school trustee incumbents — Sharla Heistad, Murray Hollman and Cynthia Leyson — have announced they are running for re-election.
Heistad is an Innisfail resident who feels “it has been a wonderful journey watching Catholic education grow and become an integral part of both the Innisfail and Olds communities.” She believes in faith-based education and hopes to be a positive voice in supporting Catholic education.
Hollman, a member of the Union of Catholic Apostolate and Knights of Columbus, is “passionate” about Catholic education and said, “I still feel called to serve the community. I feel I bring the experience of two terms and the voice of parents with younger students and children.”
Leyson is an adult server and Eucharistic minister who said her mission is to “support and promote Catholic education while upholding the best interest of students and staff.”
They join Fred Simoni and Anne Marie Watson (incumbent) in vying for a seat on the Red Deer Catholic Regional School Board.
Public School board trustee candidates are: Matt Chapin, Matt Gould, Terri Grills, Dianne Macaulay (incumbent), Meagan Parisian, and Jaelene Tweedle.
The municipal election is on Oct. 18.