Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Town of Pincher Creek, meet your candidates

Election Day is October 16, 2017 for the M.D. of Pincher Creek No. 9 and Town of Pincher Creek. Advance polling for both municipalities will be held on October 11, 2017.

Two people will be vying for Mayor of the Town of Pincher Creek, incumbent Don Anderberg and Dianne Gray. Eight people are vying for six councillor seats: Mark Barber, Tim Blake, Wayne Elliott, Lorne Jackson, Scott Korbett, Brian McGillivray, Sussanne O’Rourke and Douglas Thornton.

We asked the candidates to supply us with a brief synopsis of their platforms and qualifications. We've received responses from all candidates, published below, with the exception of incumbent Mayor Don Anderberg. (Now updated.)

Town of Pincher Creek candidates 

Mayor (1 position):
Don Anderberg (incumbent) 
Dianne Gray

Councillors (6 positions):
Mark Barber (incumbent) 
Tim Blake
Wayne Elliott (incumbent) 
Lorne Jackson (incumbent) 
Scott Korbett
Brian McGillivray
Sussanne O’Rourke
Douglas Thornton (incumbent)

Candidates for Town of Pincher Creek Mayor:

Don Anderberg (incumbent) 
No profile available at the time of publication *Updated as of October 2.
Mayor Don Anderberg
My name is Don Anderberg. I have put my name forward as a candidate for the position of Mayor for the Town of Pincher Creek.

I moved to my wife’s hometown, Pincher Creek in 1985. We have two married sons and three grandchildren. Previously I have served as your Mayor and Councillor. I have owned and operated my own business in Pincher Creek since 1994. I am a member in good standing with several community organizations including the Elks Club, Royal Canadian Legion, Golf Club, Curling Club and Pincher Creek Ducks Unlimited.

I have worked with Council and administration to complete a large number of projects in the community. Every project has been paid for 100% and NO NEW DEBT has been taken on.

As your Mayor, I will advocate to Council to continue work on critical infrastructure, housing, daycare, community transportation and recreational facilities. Our community partnerships in Pincher Creek are extremely valuable. I am proud not only to have positive results but to have outstanding working relationships with many of these local organizations. Most notably I have been working with volunteers from The Elks, Legion, Lions, Masons, Rotary & Angels to bring Habitat for Humanity to our community. As Mayor, my council and I have supported and recognize the efforts of The Chamber of Commerce, Handibus Society, McMann Agency and Food Bank, Livingstone Range and Holy Spirit School Divisions, Children’s World Daycare, The Museum, The Community Hall, Ag Society & Recreation Facility Users.

I will …..

  • Advocate an open door policy
  • Respond in a fair and respectful manor
  • Continue to consider the welfare and interests of the community as a whole
  • Continue to put Pincher Creek first.
  • Continue to promote supportive relationships with Town administration & MD Council, being respectful of the functions and duties
  • assigned to each respective team.

I am proud of the role I have had on Council. We have worked effectively to make Pincher Creek a great place to live, work and play. It is a honor to call Pincher Creek my home and the people of Pincher Creek my friends. A vote for me is a vote for thoughtful, positive leadership.

Your vote matters, I encourage you all to research your candidates and vote positively on the 16th October.

Vote Don Anderberg, the right choice for Mayor.

Dianne Gray
Dianne Gray
As an educated and skilled Social Worker, I highly value the human spirit, and have applied diversity of innovative resources creating robust sustainable development for communities.

I have implemented community development strategies that are strength based and are obtainable.

The most significant features distinguishing my community work, are my ethically maintained and integral values and principles.

Leading through innovation
Job-creating infrastructure
Fair, simple tax reform
Strengthen Community Engagement and communication
To lead unarmed change with transparency and compassion

To create innovative solutions to meet community challenges and build a strong, equitable and sustainable community through education, economics, engagement and collaboration.

My Approach will be focused on eight principal areas:
  • Human and animal supportive programs, ( eg. Animal therapy, equine therapy, animal shelters, social services, Women’s Shelters, variable housing , restorative justice,) 
  • Stimulating the economy,
  • Art,
  • technology,
  • infrastructure and capacity,
  • education
  • early child development,
  • political representation
Councillors (6 positions):

Mark Barber (incumbent)

Mark Barber
Growing up, I spent much of my spare time on my Grandparents farm and this experience kindled my interest in agriculture. I graduated from the faculty of Agriculture at the University of Manitoba and went farming. When I left the farm, I went on to complete a Diploma in Business Administration and an MBA at the University of Guelph. I have worked as an accountant, a finance manager for a commercial property business and I have been involved with ski hill management. Seventeen years ago I was offered a position with Community Futures in Pincher Creek and my family and I moved to Pincher Creek. I now work as the Executive Director with the Heritage Acres Farm Museum.

My three sons graduated from St. Michael's and they have all gone on to achieve degrees. My Daughter Brittney is in Grade 12. My wife Gerri works as a Nurse Manager.

Some of my community participation includes being the Past President for the Pincher Creek Rotary Club and a coach with the Pincher Creek Mustangs Football team. I continue to participate as a board member with the Castle Mountain Freestyle Ski Club and Rotary.

B) Youth will always be my priority.

When I joined council, my priority was better sports fields for our youth. We continue to pay taxes at a high level, why can’t we have safe sports fields?

C) Remain the same: I have always been impressed with the multitude of activities available for the citizens in Pincher Creek. I continue to commend the outstanding work of the spray park committee and look forward to the new spray park and water slide facilities.

D) Taxes

Many residents and businesses are struggling in the current economic downturn while also being burdened by increasing provincial and federal taxes. The last thing we need in Pincher Creek are more tax increases at the municipal level. By keeping spending in check and taxes low, I believe that the Pincher Creek Council can help the citizens of Pincher Creek recover from the economic downturn. I will continue to be a fiscal conservative on Town Council.

Vibrant Communities: One of my biggest disappointments on council this past term was the council’s approval of the multi-residential zoning on the north hill. I voted against this development. How this potential development enhances the north hill community continues to elude me.

E) Strong Stand: Safe Communities

My current and number one priority and what I consider to be the most significant challenge to our community at this time, is the real threat of the installation of an incinerator at the Pincher Creek Land Fill. The land fill is currently working towards building an incinerator that will burn animal carcasses, wood, and agricultural silage bags. While the landfill, which is located only a few miles upwind of Pincher Creek, continues to offer its assurances that proposed technologies will ensure that any cancer causing carcinogens and other pollutants will be removed from the exhaust, I am very hesitant to accept the assurances. Our health, our environment and our economy is dependent on our united opposition to this potentially devastating technology.

F) Summary: I will continue to oppose the incinerator at the land fill, I will support development that enhances our community and I will continue to be very frugal with our community’s tax dollars.

G) Closing Statement: I have been fortunate to have had outstanding community support during my first term on council. I look forward to that same support on October 16th.

Tim Blake

Tim Blake
Let me start with, my name is Tim Blake and currently running for town council in Pincher Creek.

As to my background.

My education is that I attended Leth college and SAIT and graduated in electronics technology.

A year later I worked for shell for the next approx. 27 years.and retired a number of years ago.While at shell I apprenticed in instrumentation.

At shell I was instrumental in establishing a strong joint health and safety committee and worked that for a number of years.After retirement I worked up north as a contractor off and on.

I was also on the executive committee for R.C legion off and on for a number of years and taken a keen interest with volunteering on different committees and teams.

As to why I am running, my sign says it all.  "Make a difference"

My taxes keep going up every year and why?i will persue lower taxes and look at expenditures that are accumulated by the town for examples will be given later.

The way contracts are handed out is a complete disgrace and if anybody asks me for examples I will give the on sept 27th.My past experience and dealings with contractors could be beneficial with council.

My technical past could be a plus.

I would also involve town employees to incent on finding ways to save on taxes.

They are the ones that would know.

Also I would like to review the application for the proposed new curling rink.

Another conclusion I would like to make is that I know how to form committees or teams with the best qualified people.

Wayne Elliott (incumbent)

Wayne Elliott
My name is Wayne Elliott. I am born, raised and educated tight here. I have been a Town Councillor since 2004. Although I did take a term off for personal reasons, from 2010-2013. I have been the President of the PC 5Pin Bowlers Assn, sat on Minor Hockey, Minor Baseball boards and coached kids in all three organizations. I still coach Youth Bowling, and follow minor hockey and baseball very keenly!

We decided I should run again, mostly because I just love it! Helping people out, meeting new folks, speaking at the elementary schools, promoting our community, citizens and volunteers. That's the best part! Of course there is a lot more to it than that, I tend to think of the positive more often than not.

I guess the communication with the public is something I think we could do more and perhaps a bit better. Maybe a few more open houses, or messages from the mayor a bit more often. Perhaps sometimes explaining a decision in a bit more detail could help. I tend to believe this is an area we could improve on.

A major area of concern that no one knows about, until they have no water! Is our underground Infrastructure. Water coming in and going out is all taken for granted. Until it is not there. With 44km of water lines and 37 km of waste water lines. These have to be replaced periodically. We have an Infrastructure master plan that we try and follow. It really is a good plan. Planning for the future generations is close to the top of my list as well.

I really have no issues or agendas. I try to be very open minded and listen to all your concerns. Good ideas don't come out of the blue, they come from talking about them.

I believe in being accountable to the citizens, by being as Educated and knowlegable as we can be. This comes through training programs, courses and seminars. I am proud to say that I have completed the Elected Officials Education Program. (less than 100 have done this since 2007!) Through the Alberta Urban Municipalities Assn. As well I am a qualified Assessment Review Board member put on by the Municipal Government Board.

In a nut shell, that is me. I would rather not blow my own horn but cheer like heck for a team or individual that has excelled at a life or sports accomplishment!

Lorne Jackson (incumbent)

Lorne Jackson
Hi everyone, I hope you and your loved ones are well, especially with the emergency situations of the past couple of weeks. I want the citizens of Pincher Creek to know just how proud I have been to represent you on town council. During the past several years, we have seen the beginning of a fresh emergence of activity here. While I know that street disruptions made necessary because of building and utilities construction can be an annoyance, it is at the same time a good indicator that our economic climate is starting to warm up. If I’m given the opportunity, I will do my level best to continue making contributions to the decision-making process here, while also staying true to my promises made back in 2010. My focus then as it is today, is helping to make our community an increasingly desirable community for both our current citizens, and those looking to live in a safe and accommodating home town for their families, while also keeping a close eye on the bottom line. The lifestyle that Pincher Creek offers is our best asset, and one that we are becoming well known for. When our new fiber optic network is completed, it will open up a whole new world of options here. With the new age of remotely working from home, I believe we are on the cusp of attracting a significant number of those from larger communities who appreciate a less stressful life. With the new wildland park, and summer and winter sports and entertainment activities both in town and right at hand, Pincher Creek is extremely well positioned. It’s no secret that Shell Canada is in the process of winding down operations, and while that is troubling, there is interest here from other potentially large employers in the area. Recently our council, in concert with our MD colleagues, have again been discussing the untapped potential of our airport, and I am very happy to see that as a talking point between us. I am optimistic for the future of our wonderful community and with your consideration, I would be most honored to continue with its guidance. Thank you.

Scott Korbett

Scott Korbett
I’ve lived in Pincher Creek for over 22 years and am proud to call this home. Originally from Vancouver, when the opportunity to open Westwind Interiors presented itself in Pincher Creek – I jumped at it! Sold the business 4 years ago and became a Real Estate Agent currently with The Villager Real Estate Company. I have been involved in the community since I first arrived including: Fire department/EMT, Chamber of Commerce (Current Board Member), Past President of the Rotary Club, and current chair of the Municipal Development and Subdivision Authority.

I appreciate the location of Pincher Creek, being able to see the mountains and enjoy all they have to offer in outdoor activities. I also love the water we have around us from the Oldman Resevoir to Waterton Lake. But what makes Pincher Creek amazing, is the people. The community has been amazing for my family and I. And that creates my desire to give back – through service. Council offers a great opportunity for me to continue to give back.

I have always been actively interested with the operations of our community and maintained relationships with administration and council through various organizations.

The desire to see our community grow and prosper while maintaining the awesomeness we already have has sparked my desire to serve on Town Council. I know there are many aspects to operating the community, and being a part of the leadership is something I’ve always wanted to do.

Our community is constantly pressured with forces – economically, socially and globally. We have opportunities to align ourselves with and challenges we need to face.

I would pledge to the community, if given the opportunity to serve, to do my homework and make the best decisions I can given the information provided. I would like to see a sustainable community that my kids can come back to…or better yet - want to come back to.

We have 2 major parks in our vicinity, so much to offer and to capitalize on.

Brian McGillivray

Brian McGillivray
I was born in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, raised and educated in Victoria, B.C. and have lived in many cities and towns in Western, Central and Atlantic Canada. I have been married for 44 years and have two grown sons, a daughter-in-law and a grandson.

My work history spans 45 years and I was privileged to hold several senior executive positions of large volume, multi branch regional companies. In the summer of 2014 I retired and my wife and I elected to relocate to Pincher Creek, a town where we have family and a town we have visited many times over the past 40 years.

I serve on the Board of the Pincher Creek Co-operative and the Board of the Allied Arts Council of Pincher Creek. I am a concert trombone player and served as a member of the Royal Canadian Artillery Band for 14 years (yes, I am a veteran) and currently play with the Lethbridge Gold Concert Band.

My wife and I truly enjoy living here; I believe I have the time and experience to give back to this wonderful community.

The services and amenities Pincher Creek offers its residents are exceptional. Healthcare is among the finest I have experienced. I have met many fine people here and appreciate the exceptional diversity and capabilities of our residents. We need to find ways to have these people share their knowledge so we can all benefit.

Sustainability. What can be done to further growth? Decline or stagnation is not a desirable alternative. How can we attract new people to our community and entice those here to remain here?

We need to build trust between Town Council and our citizens and work to reduce the friction between our Town and the MD. We are not a large community; we need each others’ support to grow.

I believe transparency is preferable to speculation and more communication is better than less. We should work to improve the quality and quantity of communication to the electorate; minimum requirements are not enough. I enjoyed success over my career in business largely as a result of understanding business operates with people. When people communicate and cooperate, objectives become reality. I also would like to propose a “best practice” analysis where Pincher Creek would compare its services and costs to several other similar sized Alberta communities. Efficiency gains would be the objective of this initiative.

In closing, a politician I am not. That said, I am a good listener with a clear direct communication style, a firm believer in common sense and simplicity, prefer collaboration to confrontation and have a reputation that my word is my bond. I believe I can make a positive contribution to our community as a Town Councillor.

Sussanne O’Rourke

I have been a resident of Pincher Creek since March 2010. I have been married for over 40 years to Blaise O’Rourke, as you might know from the Pincher Creek food bank.

We have a Military background and have lived in many different Location over the years. We also have 2 sons, 2 granddaugthers and 1 grandson.

I have a College diploma in Business Administration and Accounting . Through out the years I have volunteered for many different groups, such as Parent Advisory Committees to Lions members in Moose Jaw, SK, to the local Food Bank fundraisers. Up to now I have not ran for political office, but I have always voted and I encourage people also vote.
I decided to run for office when I had concerns on the lack of progress and the losing of businesses in our areas. As well as lack of lower income housing for both seniors, and young families.

I’d like to see more younger families come to Pincher Creek and be able to raise their children in a nice community where they can still play outside.

I thought instead of just griping about something, I should at lease try to help fix the problems, and share new ideas. We need to keep going forward to improve our standard of living and not over taxing our residents.

Douglas Thornton (incumbent)

Douglas Thornton
I am privileged to have grown up in Pincher Creek. Graduating from Matthew Halton I went on to RCMP Depot Division, then returned to southern Alberta to raise our family, go into business, become a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and start other ventures in southern Alberta. I am proud to have been the Charter President of Rotary Club of Pincher Creek and to have served as Chair of the Board of Governors of Lethbridge College.

I have served two terms, a total of 7 years, on Pincher Creek town council.  I am running for election again so we can continue the progress.

In the last 4 years your council and administration have been forward thinking in planning how to grow the town of Pincher Creek.

We have obtained significant grants from other levels of federal and provincial government to support those initiatives, which are now at an important phase in the development.

I look forward to opportunity to continue moving those projects forward.

These include:
  • Completing Crestview Lodge;
  • Utilizing the $349K grant for planning/implementing the transportation pilot project;
  • Completing plans for collaborative and innovative approach to affordable housing; 
  • Ensuring our families can rely on quality childcare services; 
  • Supporting the invaluable volunteer commitment that has gained award-winning recognition; 
  • Making our downtown a vibrant place for both residents and visitors;
  • Keeping our community at the leading edge of telecommunication innovations and highspeed connectivity.

Importantly, the province is enacting significant changes to the Municipal Government Act and this will require negotiations on a lot of issues; it is vital to have councillors who have learned that legislation and understand the complexities and implications.

Let’s continue to build upon the competitive advantages we have …. the quality of life and the investment opportunities, to create meaningful jobs and roles on the community.

If elected I will continue to build upon the foundation for innovative growth initiatives.
  • We have an economic development plan and the skills to execute it.
  • We have researched ways to a vibrant downtown, and we have plans to implement.
  • We have collaborated with neighbouring communities, and understand that success for one of us is success for all of us.

Your council needs to have the patience to thoroughly understand the issues and not be sidetracked with simple solutions to complex problems.

Your council need to be proactive, not reactive. Municipal governance has specification, legislation and implications than are not always evident at first glance. A council works for the good of all concerned and a good council will help inspire a balanced approach to growing the community and the tax base.

We have exciting new provincial developments in tourism and parks, renewable energy technologies and municipal development. We need to focus on this potential to attract new people and investment.

Let’s maintain our positive attitude and see the possibilities.

Pincher Creek has the potential to continue to be a shining example of a healthy and sustainable and innovative community. Let’s continue the progress!

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