Ask-A-Candidate Question 17

Editor’s Note: As part of our ongoing coverage of Election 2010, is accepting question from our readers, which will be published anonymously for candidates to answer. Please note that only candidates will be able to respond to the questions asked by our readers. Links to questions asked will be archived in our Ask-A-Candidate section. See link in navigation bar above.


As citizens of our community you have all taken the time to run for public office. I would salute your dedication to our town ,this is a noble effort. We have many dedicated people who serve our town in the capacity as volunteers and in grass root roles also.This facilitates a growing strong based community well placed for the future.

A growing trend has developed in our town that I hope will change with this new Mayor and council. We see our local politicians setting themselves up as the elite of our community. You sometimes forget that the decisions you make directly affect the lives of the people you serve. You are elected to a term in office and basically are untouchable during this time.

A great Alberta politician ” Ralph” once stated you get hired by being elected to do a job. You get fired for not doing that job during election time.

So folks we all know what the job of the mayor is, he sets the tone of the council and administration. He basically is the booster of the community. We want to know what the council did during this term.

To all incumbents: What grass roots projects did you work on?

Do not just list your committee meetings. How did you help the community? Did you plant trees, help paint a playground, fund raise for new playground equipment, help the scouts sell trees, sell cotton candy for the library, pick up trash in the empty lots, cut the weeds down in our vacant lots, paint graffiti over etc. Our volunteers ,who are unpaid often complete these random acts of kindness. We even have kids that shovel snow for our seniors for free. You folks are being paid ,what did you do for us? Show us you really love this town and its people.

We have not heard from our council members or even seen them most of this term. I will make exception for Paul, his effort in our town and around our town is and has been noted. Great job Paul, you really do love our town and care about the people.

We are tired of our local politicians setting themselves off as the “elite”. If you are their for the free meals and the fancy necklaces of office, tell us. We would like to see our politicians come to the table with sleeves rolled up and ready to make our town a great place to live and work. Work as hard as our volunteers and employees.

You are trying to keep your job and not get “fired” tell us what you did.?
What are you going to do in the future?

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  1. PLEASE NOTE – Only Candidates may post comments to this posting. welcomes reader comments on our articles, but we wish to keep these particular segments open for candidates alone so that readers do not have to separate who is and is not vying for their vote.

  2. Good afternoon. Beyond a doubt, the very worst part of politics is that some people seem to believe it is alright to stray from the issues to focus instead on personal attacks and question an individuals dedication, committment and integrity. I am responding to this question reluctantly as I have no intention of degrading this election into a war of words on the integrity of the individuals on our Town Council. I am extremely proud to have been associated with all the Mayors and Councillors I have served with during the 15 years I have been on the Town Council. While we have had our differences at times there is absolutely no doubt in my mind our primary goal was to provide a high quality of life as possible for the residents of our community as we thought best. In fact, if we all agreed all the time then we wouldn’t need a council. Morinville would only need to elect one individual to respresent our views. Not the kind of democracy I believe in.

    I find it abhorent that anyone would hide behind the veil of anonimity and challenge this fine group of individuals that have spent countless hours away from their families and taken personal time off work in the service of the public through elected office. I can only hope these types of comments do not discourage any of the new individuals that have come forward this election. I personnaly want to thank each and every one of you for believing you have something to offer our community in an elected capacity. I want to assure you the personal attacks presented in this question are not the norm as you genuinely strive to make Morinville a better place to live.

    I would now like to address the issue of “elite” as presented in this “Ask a candidate” questions as well as the same reference in Question 18. There couldn’t be a group or individual with a hidden agenda could there?

    I would now like to take the opportunity to introduce myself to those of you that do not know me so you can determine for yourself if it is me the questioner believes is “elite”.

    I grew up in Camrose Alberta, and graduated from high school there. I am the son of a ditch digger with a grade 8 education and a stay at home mom. Elite ? No

    I left Camrose and took Business Administration at NAIT. After the first year I was offerd a job with Calgary Power as a power lineman. From 1978 to 1994 when your power went out at night, I was the guy during the nasty blizzards and lightning storms that out there braving the elements putting your power back on. Elite ? No

    From 1994 to 2007 I owned and operated my own energy efficiency consulting business. 7 day work weeks, 16 hour days and hopefully a couple of weeks vacation. Elite ? No

    From November 2007 – 2009 I was the President of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association. Again long days and many days away from the family. Municipal politics does not pay anywhere near the level of our Provincial and Federal cousins. I was able to bring a number of great things other municipalities are doing across the Province and have them integrated into our Town. Certainly a rewarding experience. Elite ? OK

    Since January I have been working with RV CITY in Morinville as a sales consultant. Anybody that has been in commission sales will tell you it can be a rewarding job but elite?. No (By the way, if you or anyone you know is in the market for an RV come and see me this week as we have some outstanding prices for our fall clearance.)

    So there you have it. You now know me a little better than you did before. An ordinary man with an ordinary past that has a burning desire to serve the public in the capacity he believes he can best contribute. Not a silver spoon to be seen anywhere.

    One last issue I need to deal with in this question. And that is the chain of office or “necklace” as the questioner so eloquently puts it. A number of years ago, Councillor Gosselin suggested the Town of Morinville should have a Mayors chain of office. Councillor Gosselin is retired from the military and ceremonial rites with the marks of office are very normal. I flatly refused his request at the time. Never one to be deterred, Councillor Gosselin brought it up at one of the rare times I have missed a meeting.

    As I understand, the council unanimously approved the purchase of the chain and to have a ceremony for the first presentation. The entire event was planned including bringing in a piper to lead the official procession which I was not part of. The catered meal raised in the question was a couple of trays of appetizers and sweets. No champagne or alcohol of any kind was served. I was completely and totally unaware of any of this until it was sprung on me two weeks before the ceremony in June. An incredibly well kept secret.

    I was deeply honored to be the first Mayor in the history of Morinivlle to accept the chain. All the former Mayors of the Town that are still alive also attended and received a medallion to recognize their contributions. For those of you that do know me, such public recognition is not something I am at all comfortable with. Even after nine years the term “His Worship” still makes we cringe when I am announced at public events.

    As I said at the onset, I have no intention of getting into a public discussion on the integrity of the Town Councillors. As such, I will not reply to any further “ask a condidate” questions that broach this subject.


  3. Thank you for the questions and your concerns.

    I also want to start off with a quote from a great man. He told me on his death bed “Be all you can be, but remember be good at it with honour and integrity” my dad (May he rest in peace). I believe I’ve been doing it ever since.

    The question I believe is not what I do or not do in Council Chamber but what I do (and at times expect others also to do) in our town.

    I support the MS society, by fund raising, donating funds to them, and being a strong advocate for them.

    I support the Library, by fund raising, donating funds to them, and being a strong advocate for them.

    I shop locally, this improves the town and business community and being a strong advocate for them.

    I pick up garbage on the street (just on this campaign trail I loaded 3 large garbage bags).

    I participate in all of Town festivities, such as the St. Jean Baptiste, Christmas Parade, Councillors Pancake Breakfast (by the way paid out of all Councillors pocket not tax payer), such to name a few.

    Your concern on Volunteer:

    I indeed worry about Volunteering in our Community; Ladies and Gentlemen a community CAN NOT survive without volunteers, unless you want to pay 500% more on your yearly tax bill and on your community program user fees. I didn’t think so…However; we must get the youth of Morinville more involved (by the way have you asked your son and/or daughter to be part of a volunteer group lately?). I salute the Morinville Volunteers as most of the volunteers are volunteering with not only one organization but many. I believe that we need to work with Morinville organizations and the youth of our community to find initiatives for the good of our community.

    Your concern on Elite:

    In every organization there is always one or two who believe they are above the rest. Did we have this on the 2007 – 2010 Council? Yes! Did we have a team? No, a least not the first 2 ½ years. As for your words “free”, if I was doing this for the money or the free meal, I would be broke and hungry. I am happy to see that there are ten candidates running for Councillors and three running for School Trustee, this is a true sign that Morinville Citizens want CHANGE for the BETTER.

    I am hearing this every day. Morinville residents want a United Council (team players) to work together for the good of Morinville. I believe I am the Mayor to make this happen.

    Your concern of “My Job”

    I personally do not consider this a job, but as a service I wish to do without the prestige of office as you might think, please do not paint me with the same large brush as other Councillors or Mayor who might be or not. I believe in the people and the community, that is why I am doing this. I have the total support of my family (even by my disabled spouse that need care almost 24 hrs a day) she believes that I am an honest person and she knows that I am the person who can help other who cannot help themselves. Rarely seen in a Politician, you agree?

    My campaign platform is about “Creating a vibrant and dynamic town where the priorities of the citizens of Morinville come FIRST and not those of the politicians”

    Thank you.

  4. I have visited almost all of the households in Morinville. Of those who answered the door and with whom I had a chance to talk no one has made this comment.

    I can assure you I see the postion of Councillor as an oportunity to serve the community in an elected capacity. My wife and I raised our family in Morinville for the past 22 years. They support my standing for elected office.

    There are many roles I have. I value all those roles including that of husband, father, brother, friend, employer, community volunteer and etcetera. While I hope to be elected a Town Councillor, that does not change who I am or how I see myself.

Comments are closed.