Open letter to by-election candidates

Dear Candidates,

My name is Robert Ladouceur and I am a proud resident of our wonderful community. I am born and raised in Fort McMurray and I remember what a wonderful community it was in the late 80s and early 90s when I was growing up. When it was time for my family and I to pick up and leave, I wanted to look for a community where I could raise my daughters that was safe, affordable, comfortable, moving forward and friendly. I considered a lot of communities including Gibbons, Redwater and some others. I tried living on an acreage but realized that was not for me. I moved into Morinville and have lived here for about five years. My girlfriend moved from Newfoundland to live with me and my daughters here, and we enjoy the community very much.

The Morinville Town Council is made up of a group of people that have a vision. I like to believe that they were elected by our citizens due to their vision, work experience and the potential that my fellow community members saw in them. I watch how some of them are doing through social media, at events and around town and am quite impressed with how much they seem to sincerely love our town and want the best for it and everybody within.

In just two weeks those who pay attention and care about our community will cast a vote in the Morinville town council by-election. We are lucky enough to have six candidates of varying backgrounds to consider. Each has differing views on how conservative or progressive we should be. Now, I’ll be very honest with you and tell you that I am a fiscal conservative and wear that hat proudly. Granted, I sit in the middle between being socially moderate and a libertarian, so at times it can conflict with my fiscally conservative side. I was very active in the recent provincial election, which was the first time I was part of a high level planning group for a provincial election. I learned a lot and much of it transfers to our upcoming municipal election.

There have been some great letters and editorials posted on this site. They have talked about the responsibility of the position and they have talked about getting involved and doing it for the right reasons. I have agreed, mostly, with what has been shared with the readers thus far. This is a huge encumbrance that should not be taken lightly. Being a councillor is not about getting up on a soapbox and standing off against the existing council members and making a name for yourself. Instead, being in council is about working as partners to do what is best for the constituents that you represent and the community. It is about being the voice of those who voted for you, and also those who did not. It is about having a positive attitude and loving the community that you represent.

As I consider the candidates that are running, I like to read the answers to questions about why they want to represent our neighbourhoods on council. With this by-election I have been surprised at the number of times I have seen the reason as ‘I am not happy with X, Y or Z and want to change it.’ being the answer. In fairness, some of the candidates have legitimate concerns with how things are done. However, some just want to have a say and believe this is the best way. Frankly, as a resident of this outstanding community and somebody who talks to a lot of people in our town about who they are going to vote for and why, I will give some advice to you.

Most of the residents of Morinville really love it here. We like that our RCMP detachment works hard to keep us safe. We love the St. Jean Baptiste Festival that keeps us entertained each year and helps us learn and remember our town’s heritage. We love the direction that the town is heading in with a confident 25-year plan. Yes, we can improve on some things. But you know what most of us want to see? We want to see that you can work with council and that you love Morinville as much as we do. For some of you, it sure sounds like you don’t love it and just have a bone to pick and want to be on the inside to do so. You have two weeks to get elected and then you have one year to prove that you are a capable member of council before the next election rolls around. Use the time that you have to campaign and get your word out, but do it in a positive way. Show us that you care.

Thank you and good luck to each of you.

Rob Ladouceur

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