Councillors’ thoughts and highlights from first year

Buck Buchanan, third-term councillor “It’s going to be stellar for the community,” said Buchanan on Red Deer securing the Canada Winter Games. Along with Coun. Dianne Wyntyes, Buchanan sat on the bid committee.

Buck Buchanan, third-term councillor

“It’s going to be stellar for the community,” said Buchanan on Red Deer securing the Canada Winter Games. Along with Coun. Dianne Wyntyes, Buchanan sat on the bid committee.

But Buchanan anticipates there will be big issues to come as a result of winning the games. He said council will have to be prepared to go out on a limb for amenities after hearing the community amenities report later this year.

Residents were asked what amenities they wanted in Red Deer and in what order. Council will hear a report later this year and consider the information during the 2015 budget deliberations.

Tanya Handley, first-term councillor

“I thought we could do more for cost savings,” said Handley, who voted against last year’s budgets.

“The items that were brought forward were quite small. We as a council ask the city to bring forward cost savings and the city brought them forward. Then council on a lot of them said, ‘No, no, no.’ This time around, I hope we’re a little more brave and be willing to look at ways to find cost savings.”

Handley said putting together a list of budget guidelines for administration is a positive.

She said voting against the budget was simply a statement that “I think we could have done better.”

Paul Harris, second-term councillor

“I am really pleased that we had a conversation about community amenities,” said Harris. “I don’t think we have had an opportunity to prioritize things in a holistic way.”

Harris counts having all the dead trees on the boulevards and public spaces replaced within two years as a win for the community.

He looks forward to more audit committee work, developing a downtown residential strategy and working on Riverlands, the former city civic yards site. The area is intended to be developed into a thriving mixed-use district supporting culture, entertainment, residential development and community gathering places.

Ken Johnston, first-term councillor

“It was a great year of dialogue,” said Johnston. “The community really spoke a lot and loudly about what was important. I think we did a very good job of listening and gathering. I think in 2015 you will see some roll out of that community dialogue.”

Johnston said the 2015 to 2018 strategic plan for the city will develop further in the years to come.

Lawrence Lee, first-term councillor

Lee said some of the highlights for him included securing the Canada Winter Games and furthering community dialogue.

Lee said he was disappointed council supported urban chickens, which he opposed.

Lee also advocated for not using extra money for green energy, which is mixed with traditional energy sources on the grid. Council did opt to buy some green energy at higher prices.

Lynne Mulder, fourth-term councillor

Mulder and Harris put a motion forward asking that an aquatic centre be etched in the city’s 10-year capital plan. Mulder said it was disappointing that they received little council support. Council will likely discuss a proposed aquatic centre as part of the community amenity project later this year.

“We came around to a good place where we put together an ad hoc committee and it is not a loss at the moment because it has been pushed so many times,” she said.

Mulder is also pleased about the new neighbourhood guidelines that will introduce various housing types in new neighbourhoods such as Evergreen in northeast Red Deer.

Coun. Frank Wong, fourth-term councillor

“Bike lanes came into play during the election so I am happy that we corrected some of the mistakes that were made,” said Wong, on the removal of the bike lanes on 39th Street.

Wong said highlights over the first year included approving the pilot program for small buses, advocating for retaining local ambulance dispatch and looking at development north of Hwy 11A.

Dianne Wyntjes, second-term councillor

“Making sure we have housing stock for those who need it whether it is the homeless or new people coming in,” said Wyntjes, on the challenges ahead.

She said it will be important to work with the province on the housing portfolio.

Wyntjes said addressing senior needs in the community will also come up again. She said the fate of the old Red Deer Nursing Home and Valley Park Manor sites have yet to be determined, and this may have an impact on development in the city.

Just Posted

UPDATED: STARS Lottery is back

Lacombe STARS patient tells his story

Sylvan Lake council adopts waterfront plan

Sustainable Waterfront Area Redevelopment Plan to guide development for next 20 years

Two people die in Rocky-area collision

Rocky Mountain House RCMP investigate

RDC launches week of activities focusing on student mental health

Learners invited to join the discussion at #MakeSomeTimeRDC

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

Teen vaping is an epidemic: US government

E-cigarettes are now the top high-risk substance used by teenagers, outpacing cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana

‘I never said there was no collusion,’ Trump lawyer says

President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he has ‘never said there was no collusion’

Body of Canadian miner found after African kidnapping

Kirk Woodman’s body was discovered 100 kilometres from the site where he worked for Progress Mineral Mining Company in Burkina Faso

Canada’s Conners on his way to full PGA Tour card with fast start to 2019 season

Corey Conners was working on his putting last Friday when fellow Canadian… Continue reading

Canada’s Milos Raonic, Denis Shapovalov advance at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia — Canada’s Milos Raonic and Denis Shapovalov have advanced to… Continue reading

Study finds more than half of food produced in Canada wasted

The study released Thursday is the world’s first to measure food waste using data from industry and other sources instead of estimates

AP Exclusive: A peek at how Disney resort shows are made

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — With excitement building over a new “Star… Continue reading

Most Read