Interview With Council Part 1: Are they running again?

by Colin Smith

Morinville, along with Alberta’s other municipalities, will be holding an election for Council on October 18, 2021 and nominations for the positions of Mayor and Councillors have already opened. With that in mind Morinville Online has approached present Council members about whether they will be standing for re-election this fall and their views on what they feel has been accomplished and ongoing and future issues. 

The responses to our questions are lead off by Mayor Barry Turner, followed by current Deputy Mayor Sarah Hall, followed by the Councillors in alphabetical order.

Q: Are you running again?

Mayor Barry Turner: Yes, my intention is to run again and I will be confirming this closer to the end of the nomination period.

Deputy Mayor Sarah Hall: Yes, as of right now, my intention is to run again. That, of course, could change depending on an array of variables when it comes to family or work situation come nomination day.

Councillor Rebecca Balanko: This is a tough question. I love serving my community in this position. I haven’t loved every part of an elected official’s role, but I have learned so much in my time. Prior to COVID, my answer was YES. Then I went from a full-time job to part-time, and now laid-off due to COVID. I was working in programming and community relations in a large senior community. It’s pretty tough to keep a position afloat with zero programming and community engagement not permitted. The honorarium of a Councillor isn’t close to the income of a regular full-time job. If I am able to find work that’ll accommodate being second, as my Council role is first, I will most certainly run again. It would be an honor to serve my community for another four years.

Councillor Nicole Boutestein: As of right now I am not 100% sure I am seeking re-election. Over the past year I have lost both my parents and this had made me realize that things can change at any moment, no matter how much I plan for tomorrow or a week or year from now. So with this in mind, I will announce my plans to as to whether or not I will be seeking re-election later this year.

Councillor Stephen Dafoe: I have decided as to whether I will run again, and despite being able to file papers January 1, I will be keeping my decision under wraps for the time being as I want the focus of the next months to be on doing the people’s work.

Councillor Lawrence Giffin: I will probably not run again.

Councillor Scott Richardson: Yes, I do plan on running in the 2021 municipal election. The election is still a bit away but I’m fairly confident that I will be running. Unless there are unforeseen circumstances.

Part 2 of this series will run tomorrow and ask what Council feel has been accomplished individually and collectively so far this term.

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