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  • Chestermere 2013 – Meet your Councillor Candidates

    Ada Rawlins

    Meet your Councillor Candidates

    Ada RAWLINS | Christopher STEEVES | Gail SMITH | Greg AMORUSO | Heather DAVIES | Jason SCHAFFER | Jassy LALL | Jennifer MASSIG | Kofi POKU | Mardi OEL | Patrick WATSON | Paul GRAHAM | Ramona BAGLEY | Rob TRUNG | Shali BAZIUK | Steve GRANDE | Stu HUTCHISON | Thomas FLEGER | Troy PRUSKY

    Ada Rawlins – Candidate Profile for the Office of Councillor in Chestermere

    Ada Rawlins

    Ada Rawlins

    Ada Rawlins first came to Chestermere in the late 60’s and owned a cabin when it was just a summer village. Then 25 years ago she and her husband became permanent residents, moving into a home they had built for their sons.

    Rawlins previously sat on council for 9 years, ending in 2007 but her involvement did not end there. She is president of the Chestermere Whitecappers Association and is a board member of the Chestermere Rotary Club. In the past she served on several town committees and is very proud to have played a prominent part in getting the library up and running as well as the Chestermere Phone Directory created. Rawlins was the organizer and chair of the first Winter festival committee and supported the outdoor skating rink that is now on Chestermere Lake each winter.

    Rawlins has an extensive resume working with the province and other institutions in various areas. She was previously appointed to the Health Facility Review Committee which included duties such as visiting each long-term and acute care facility in Alberta to make recommendations to improve the care provided. She is also currently serving another three year term on the Hospital Privilege Appeal Board. Rawlins also sat on the Board of Governors at Mount Royal College for six years and on the Board of Governors of Olds College, of which she was Acting President for one year. She also served six years on the National Capital Commission and on the National Defense Committee on Social Change, which included looking at the representation of visible minorities and aboriginal people in the Canadian Armed Forces. Rawlins was the Manager of Public Affairs and Communications for the Independent Petroleum Association of Canada for many years.

    Rawlins received the Alberta Centennial Medal from Premier Ralph Klein in recognition of outstanding service to the people and to the Province of Alberta.

    Rawlins is focusing on becoming a town councillor once again because she does not want to see any further tax increases. In fact, she would like to take a look to see If there is room for a possible reduction in property taxes. Rawlins is in regular contact with Chestermere’s aging population and understands how difficult it is for retired folk to pay the incredible increases that homeowners have seen over the years without a substantial increase in services offered by the Town. For example, her property taxes have increased 149% in the period 2010 to 2013 and she simply feels such tax swells are not justified.

    Rawlins also wants to see Chestermere working to attract more businesses that benefit the community. She sees the development going on west of Chestermere and is concerned that it will hurt our local businesses.

    Lastly, Rawlins would like to understand how the town does the planning for our infrastructure and traffic designs.

    You can contact Ada Rawlins via email at adarex@shaw.ca

    Christopher STEEVES – Candidate Profile for the Office of Councillor in Chestermere

    Christopher Steeves

    Christopher Steeves

    Christopher Steeves loves Chestermere and jokes that he met more people in the first 8 days living here then he had in Calgary in 8 years. He and his family moved to Chestermere 9 years ago and quickly learned that the people are what make this community so great.

    Prior to being elected as a councillor for the Town of Chestermere in 2007, Steeves served on the Parks, Economic Development and Recycling committees. These are the areas that were of interest to Steeves then and he still maintains their level of importance today because like most of us raising our families here – he realized that having a vision for Chestermere’s future was vital.

    Steeves is currently employed as an Accounts Manager, and has a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) as well as an Adult Education Certificate.

    Since being elected, Steeves has served on several boards and committees and has enjoyed representing Chestermere on both a federal and provincial level. He would like to continue to use his experiences to continue focusing on the commercial and light industrial growth in Chestermere. Steeves notes that although as a town we do not have a lot of amenities, we do have a lot of opportunities and he would like to capitalize what we have to offer.

    In an effort to encourage enterprises to set up shop here, Steeves will continue to support of the Chestermere Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development expert that is already on staff so that residents will have more shopping and restaurant options.

    Steeves wants to ensure there are opportunities for everyone to participate in our active community. He recognizes that this will be achieved through increasing recreational facilities space but also through building improved pathways, beaches, parks and tennis courts so that everybody is able to enjoy Alberta’s Oasis.

    Steeves is proud of the current Town Council and his fellow councillor’s for the many things they have been able to achieve over the years. For instance, the 2010 Olympic events that was hosted in Chestermere; Steeves really saw this event as something that helped to define Chestermere as a distinct community. He noticed the sense of pride people began to feel about our community because of the incredible job that volunteers and people in town hall did to make it happen.

    Steeves feels he is a good candidate to re-elect for town councillor because he brings Experience, Commitment, Leadership and Vision to the town.

    You can contact Christopher Steeves via email at csteeves@chestermere.ca

    Gail SMITH – Candidate Profile for the Office of Councillor in Chestermere

    Gail Smith

    Gail Smith

    Gail Smith has lived in Chestermere for 9 years and has just recently retired from a 30+ year teaching career. She is the proud mother of one adult son, and has two young grandchildren. With a Bachelor of Education Degree as well as a Master of Education Degree, she has enjoyed her full-time teaching career as a junior high humanities teacher within the Calgary Board of Education but has also been a Facilitator for the University of Regina and a Teacher Consultant for the Canadian Council for Geography Education and the National Geographic Society.

    For Smith, life in Chestermere has been vibrant. As an active member of the Chestermere Lions’ Club and various town committees, she has enjoyed many years organizing and participating in fundraising events that have directly benefitted our community. She has found this to be an excellent way to meet people throughout the years, many of whom have encouraged her to take the step into municipal politics because of her dedication in the community.

    Perhaps it is due to her background in education, but Gail has always believed that knowledge is power and in order to make the right decisions, one must first research to get all the facts. This is one of the strengths Gail will be able to bring to council; she can always be counted on to make informed decisions, rather than emotional ones. In the past, she has not only attended town council meetings to seek information, she has also sat down and had discussions with the Mayor and CAO because she cares about the building of Chestermere’s future.

    As councillor, Gail sees a need to focus on five main areas and the first is Protective Services because it is imperative that Chestermere remain a safe community throughout the growth that is taking place.

    The second area of Smith’s focus will be Community Services. This includes creating an awareness of the existing programs that are offered in Chestermere and recognizing the importance of using the results from the 2012 Survey that was completed. It is clear to Smith that an overwhelming majority of residents want to see a multi-use recreational facility therefore she wants to look at funding options, land acquisition and the development of the Master Recreation Plan.

    Developmental Services and Corporate Services include planning for our future and building our own identity, unique from that of Calgary. Smith sees a need for further efficient communication with developers for the growth of our light industrial needs. This must be done in a fiscally responsible manner, and proper management of taxation methods.

    Smith says that community is all about the people, and it is the people that she would like to focus on as councillor.

    You can contact Gail Smith via email at 77gailmarie@gmail.ca

    Greg AMORUSO – Candidate Profile for the Office of Councillor in Chestermere

    Greg Amoruso

    Greg Amoruso

    Greg Amoruso has resided in Chestermere for 5 years. He enjoys playing hockey and has volunteered as an assistant hockey coach for teams made up of youth under 10 years of age. He is a former police officer for the City of Calgary and has also spent 27 years with the Canada Safeway, 5 years as the company’s charity coordinator.

    Currently, Amoruso is a successful business owner who understands the needs of small business and because of a background in real estate, he also has knowledge surrounding the value of property and the importance that ratio and balance plays in the stability of a market.

    Amoruso has spent his time in Chestermere getting to know the people and he wants to become more involved by sharing his talents and positive attitude by helping to shape our town to be the best it can be. He says he has taken the time to educate himself on the town so that he can better represent the people. He recognizes that the residents need to be heard and feels that with his excellent communication skills, he will be able will work directly with the public and represent them honestly through hard work.

    While talking to neighbours and residents he has heard time and again that families are having to make major sacrifices just to be able to afford the ever increasing tax bills each year and Amoruso feels that is not right. He would like to change how we get taxed by looking at ways of developing payment plans for homeowners over 3 or 4 year periods in an effort to make owning property more affordable.

    In regards to amenities such as new recreational facilities, Amoruso feels that although it is one thing to build such facilities, it is another to maintain them long into the future and believes that perhaps we need a larger population in order to support the cost. However, he adds that there is no need to reinvent the wheel and believes that a deeper look into how other municipalities have gone forward with successful ventures in these area’s would be beneficial.

    Amoruso would also like to see more businesses have the opportunity to become prosperous and successful in Chestemere so that people have the opportunity to not only live here, but also to work here with the ability to support themselves and their families. In order to do this, he feels that most importantly, the commercial buildings need to be full – so that they are creating jobs. This means we must encourage a market that companies want to be a part of. Additionally, he sees a need to better promote the town to encourage and entice more people to move here, with the goal to eventually achieve the ideal ratio of houses to businesses.

    You can contact Greg Amoruso via email at amoruso@telus.net

    Heather DAVIES – Candidate Profile for the Office of Councillor in Chestermere

    Heather Davies

    Heather Davies

    Heather Davies and her husband have been married for 37 years and they have two grown sons and two grandchildren. They have been a part of this community for over 21 years, 12 of which she has proudly served Chestermere as councillor. Davies is seeking re-election because she is dedicated and passionate toward her commitment for all residents in the Town of Chestermere.

    During her time in Chestermere, Davies commitment to the community has been acknowledged by awards and medals for her exemplary volunteer work, and environmental stewardship. The list of Committee’s that Davies currently sits on is extensive but includes the Calgary Regional Partnership Committee; Cenotaph Committee; Health & Wellness and the Streetscape Committee. She was also instrumental in the start up of the Chestermere Ducks Unlimited Chapter in 2001, fundraising to support wetland and habitat conservation around Chestermere and Southern Alberta.

    Prior to retirement, Davies was involved in Business Education and Business-College Administration and she also worked in the Oil & Gas Industry as a Legal Assistant. She has taken the time to complete courses that would help her to be a strong member on council. Growing up on a lake herself, she has a love for the water and is fervent about maintaining the health of Chestermere Lake. She recently received her certificate and became certified as a Water and Equipment Inspector – ensuring that invasive species do not make it into our water system.

    Davies feels that with the incredible amount of growth and development that Chestermere is experiencing, the next council will need the experience and knowledge that she possesses to know how to maintain and navigate the standards set in the Master Development Plan; ensuring they are being upheld.

    With her years on council she can appreciate and understand how the process of development happens and she wants to effectively guide the type of development allowed in our town keeping in mind the importance of the new wetland policy which is an important tool to protect the wetlands and the vital role they play in our lifestyle and wildlife habitat.

    The 2010/12 surveys showed that recreational facilities are high priority and Heather understands the need for current and future recreational facilities in our community, this is why she supports the redevelopment of Anniversary Park which will give residents Lake access and the space to be active in the water.

    Davies feels her experience in managing budgets is very important as council continues to keep residential taxes low while creating a safer and wonderful community to live in for people of all ages. Davies wants to continue serving our community in planning and building for the future.

    You can contact Heather Davies via email at daviesh@shaw.ca

    Jason SCHAFFER – Candidate Profile for the Office of Councillor in Chestermere

    Jason Schaffer

    Jason Schaffer

    Jason Schaffer may have only been a part of our community for a short time but he is already passionate about it and wants to become more involved. Schaffer moved to Chestermere with his wife and two children less than one year ago in hopes to find a good home in a quiet town and has since fallen in love with the community.

    Schaffer has spent 20 years working in the oil and gas industry and has also been a fabrication manager for a piping systems manufacturer. He feels his professional career has enabled him to gain valuable experience that will help him as future councillor. He describes his intimate knowledge of construction and management which could aid in securing and negotiating future projects in our town.

    Schaffer is focusing on 3 main areas which he believes will make a stronger Chestermere. The first is in business commerce. He explains that residential taxes are too high and have become a burden on households within Chestermere. Schaffer explains that by bringing in more businesses, it will alleviate taxes because currently he feels Chestermere does not have the amenities to support the population and draw revenue from. He believes that work needs to be done which will make our town more business friendly, moving away from the traditional conception that we can survive without them.

    Schaffer recognizes that people are asking questions like “How are we going to support our growth?” and he says that these need to be answered with a common sense approach and the needs of the people must be addressed. This includes infrastructure and roadways; Schaffer wants to make sure they work properly and safely and he would like to explore some of the options and safer alternatives that will make a difference in our daily travels around town. As a measure to increase safety – Schaffer would also like to see an increase in our police force; he believes they are undermanned and would like them to be more visible.

    Lastly, Schaffer is committed to seeing a usable all season recreation complex built, but not at a significant cost to taxpayers. Instead, Schaffer would like to explore developing partnerships between neighboring communities, local businesses, and developers. He understands the need for a pool, and youth centre but does not want to see the burden to pay for it to be passed onto the residents.

    Overall, Schaffer would like to see the town create a vision and begin to plan 10-20 years into the future. He wants to be proactive, so as not to be left behind in regards to development.

    You can contact Jay Schaffer via email at jasonschaffer90@hotmail.com

    Jassy LALL – Candidate Profile for the Office of Councillor in Chestermere

    Jassy Lall

    Jassy Lall

    Jassy Lall came to Canada in 1980 from his home country of India. He then moved to Chestermere in 2003 where he currently resides with his wife and 3 children.

    Lall has been a communications business owner since 2001. Since moving his business to Langdon, he has been a regular sponsor and promoter of the Langdon Days because he understands the importance of community. He is also a proud supporter of Children’s Hospitals and more recently he participated in arranging help for the victims of the devastating June floods.

    Lall sees the following as the most critical actions needed due to Chestermere’s rapid growth. Firstly, he wants to address the social needs of the community which includes the need for a new high school as he feels the current building is no longer able to meet the needs of the growing population. Additionally, he would like to see upgrading to the Rec Centre as well as surrounding fields designed for sporting activities and possible a new indoor pool.

    Lall’s second concern includes the environmental impact we are leaving behind. He would like to implement affordable, accessible curb side recycling which will be more convenient for residents rather than the current method of sorting and hauling to the town’s recycling yard. Lall also wants to develop further programs that will ensure the rural roads around the boundary of Chestermere are clean garbage free.

    Finally, Lall wants to concentrate on the topic of economics. He sees an importance in insuring responsible development of infrastructure while maintain a reasonable property tax rate and creating local job sustainability. Lall has a history in human resources and was taught to always support local jobs first, meaning encouraging businesses to hire locally and only if no suitable employees can be found should they then go outside of the community to fulfill the position. Lall will also guarantee that every tax penny is used where it should be used with no room for waste.

    Lall wants to see Chestermere be built up while still ensuring that we remain a luxury residential escape for families. He would prefer not to see condo’s or apartment buildings near the water, maintaining the lake’s beauty. He appreciated Chestermere is a safe place to live and knows the importance of feeling secure while walking out in our community. He does not want to see big semi trucks coming through Chestermere and supports re-routing them around our town.

    Overall, Lall wants to be a consulate building community relationships in an honest and professional manner. He says has pride and looks after the community like his own family.

    You can contact Jassy Lall via email at jassylall@gmail.com

    Jennifer MASSIG – Candidate Profile for the Office of Councillor in Chestermere

    Jennifer Massig

    Jennifer Massig

    For Jennifer Massig, getting involved in municipal politics was not an overnight decision. The interest began for her in 2010, however she decided at the time to wait it out because she was expecting her second child. In the mean time Massig certainly kept herself busy and involved in our community allowing her a unique insight into the planning and development of our town.

    Born and raised in Sylvan Lake, AB, Massig came to Calgary to complete her post secondary education at the University of Calgary receiving a degree in Bachelor of Environment Engineering. Over the past 3 years she has worked directly in our community as a third party Engineering Consultant for the Town of Chestermere.

    Massig’s Environmental Engineering background has given her the ability to understand the importance of the balance between social, economic and environmental concerns and how they play a role in municipalities planning and development.

    Not only is Massig actively involved as a parent and volunteer at her daughters school as Vice Chair for the school council, she also runs a charity called Justice Café that raises funds to fight against the trafficking and exploitation of children around the world.

    There is one major ideology that Massig is passionate about and that is creating family friendly neighborhoods encouraging strong community connections. This includes a variety of topics such as raising awareness surrounding poverty, which is very much hidden in our quaint little town. Through additional programming, Massig hopes to elevate the level of understanding surrounding this delicate issue and get those effected access to public transportation, jobs and the resources that they require to be connected to our community.

    It also means developing things like inclusion programs, early learning and child development programs, pedestrian crossings and recreational facilities. Massig believes these are all vital to building community and sometimes it means asking “How are we going to do this?” rather than “Can we do it?” If we know what we want Chestermere to look like in the future, that will guide us to make the right decisions today.

    Having a vision is imperative, and Massig feels she is a qualified candidate because her vision for Chestermere includes all the parts and all the people. If we can bring them together through sound infrastructure planning, and fiscal responsibility then we will build the strong neighbourhood connections that she feels are essential. This will require High Level planning, which Massig is capable of and can offer a lot of insight on with her professional work experience in civil engineering.

    You can contact Jennifer Massig via email at jennifer.massig@gmail.com

    Kofi POKU – Candidate Profile for the Office of Councillor in Chestermere

    Kofi Poku

    Kofi Poku

    Kofi Poku is an outgoing, passionate and caring individual. Born in Ghana, West Africa he came to Canada in the 1980’s eventually settling in Chestermere in 2005 with his wife and 3 children.

    Poku is an active member of society participating in a number of activities but when asked about his volunteer experiences, he humbly answers that he just helps out wherever he can without thinking of it as volunteering. Poku sees the importance of helping neighbors and helping friends and that is what he defines as community spirit. Poku says that the conscience is the voice of our soul. He puts human beings and community first and teaches his children that helping people is our number one priority.

    Poku has a background in the IT business and has established a variety of consultation companies. He is a businessman that participates in a wide diversity of initiatives including involvement in marketing & networking, construction and health and safety management in the oil sector.

    Poku believes that our community is rich with talents and assets that remain underutilized. It is his goal to reach out to the citizens to discover everything they have to offer and bring them together for the betterment of the community. Kofi describes himself as analytical, so when he looks at information he does so with common sense. That, combined with his strong negotiating skills and fiscal responsibility he believes he has what it takes to become a successful town councillor.

    Poku explains his view on the importance of understanding the roles and responsibilities of a town council and wonders if current members have lost sight of acting as a governance council instead of an operational council. Poku feels the role of town council should be that of business managers which means finding ways to grow the town in healthy manner.

    Poku feels that sometimes life experiences are more valuable than education and adds that many times, experience in doing the same thing for long periods can become a handicap.

    Through sponsorship and fundraising efforts, Poku believes that is it possible to increase the recreational opportunities by using an existing partnership model that has worked in other communities but adds that he wants to see the council set tangible goals and create a vision on how those goals will be achieved.

    In an effort to build public confidence, Poku would like to see openness and accountability to come from council which means acting with integrity in all business relationships and providing a healthy and safe community for all the constituents. He would also like to encourage more public participation in decision making and ensuring that the people’s opinions are being taken into consideration before making decisions that will directly affect their lives.

    You can contact Kofi Poku via email at electpoku@gmail.com

    Mardi OEL – Candidate Profile for the Office of Councillor in Chestermere

    Mardi Oel

    Mardi Oel

    Mardi Oel moved to Chestermere in 1990 because it offered everything she wanted in a community including a golf course and curling rink. Oel quickly became a self appointed welcome wagon for her neighborhood, ensuring a strong sense of community.

    Oel spent 10 years as Executive Director for Calgary United Soccer Association and 10 years as Human Resources Manager for a Calgary based company. For the past 13 years Oel has enjoyed a career as a school bus driver for the Chestermere area.

    Oel has devoted much her life to community service, in and outside of Chestermere. Her community involvement includes the Chestermere Regional Food Bank where she is a founding member and current President, Chestermere’s Every Day Angel Program, Chestermere Rotary Club and she has been involved in Meals on Wheels since 1999. Oel has recently brought the Meals on Wheels program to Chestermere, offering residents the opportunity to benefit from the services which it provides.

    Oel wants to focus on connecting our community. Because of her relations, she feels she represents a common voice for a diverse group of people that are all looking for truth and transparency from the leaders of our municipality.

    If elected as councillor, Oel’s focus will be placed on fiscal restraint, without compromising the meaningful programs being delivered to our residents. She feels there may be duplication in services currently being offered by various groups and suggests that by connecting to one another, we may be able to take a look at streamlining the programs to find possible savings.

    Oel also wants to investigate the possibility of enhancing our community and recreational facilities keeping in mind fiscal responsibility for today and into the future. She says there is a need to balance our community’s wants with our needs and we must ask if our wants are realistic and can we afford it.

    Thirdly, Oel wants to ensure we are taking the health and well-being of our seniors into account when planning for growth and development. She wants to see Chestermere be an even better place to live and raise a family, but feels we must also not forget to make room for seniors housing and other health care facilities that will meet the needs of the older generations.

    Oel believes that actions speak louder than words. She feels her integrity and commitment has been demonstrated over the years by her ongoing community involvement. Oel’s caring nature and genuine interest in people are always evident.

    You can contact Mardi Oel via email at mardioel@gmail.com

    Patrick WATSON – Candidate Profile for the Office of Councillor in Chestermere

    Patrick Watson

    Patrick Watson

    Patrick Watson moved to Chestermere 1994 and attended his first of many town council meeting in the late 90’s. He and his wife Corrine along with their four children quickly turned the small town into their life-long home by plunging into the community with their whole spirit.

    Watson is a small business owner, running his own Certified Home Inspection Company. All of his children, who are now adults, have moved out so Watson now finds his time is more flexible allowing room for the opportunity to become councillor. He has been encouraged for years to throw his name in and run for town council by many people within the community because Watson has the reputation to get the job done.

    Watson has always been a go to person within our society, representing a strong willingness to help. You can forever find him at any given affair quietly flipping pancakes for the Lions Club or Knights of Columbus community breakfasts, sitting around the table helping to plan another fundraiser to benefit our community and coming early or staying late to set up/take down at events. Watson was formerly Chairman of the Water festival, which is still his favorite Chestermere event to this day and he continues to participate as a volunteer annually.

    Watson’s insight into the community is invaluable. With his strong leadership skills and good business sense, combined with his integrity and respect – Watson would be an asset to our town council. In regards to Chestermere Planning, he would like to see that the Municipal Development Plan is closely followed to allow for more useable green space and parks. He also wants to work diligently with council to ensure that future development serves to support long term goals for a sustainable community while making efforts to attract more light industrial and commercial businesses.

    Understanding that there is a need for a larger recreation center in Chestermere, Watson is hesitant to go ahead with plans if there is a possibility of it becoming a heavy tax burden on our young community. While he promotes sports programs, recreational amenities, and health and well-being initiatives, he wants to look at alternative options before building an $80million facility that we simply can’t pay for.

    As a business owner, Watson understands the importance of fiscal responsibility and conservative spending and believes there is always room to cut expenditure. If elected, we will explore further tax savings efforts.

    Because of his history and relationships with the people that make this town our home, Watson is deeply woven into the fabric of Chestermere and he feels he could be a valued voice for fairness and honesty.

    You can contact Patrick Watson via email him at patrickwatson97@hotmail.com

    Paul Graham

    Paul Graham

    Paul Graham

    Paul Graham believes that Chestermere is Alberta’s best kept secret, and he and his wife have been an active part of it since 1990. Graham wants to build a stronger community and has revealed that through his past involvement with the Chestermere Lions Club, Chestermere Chamber of Commerce and Chestermere Water Festival this has been possible. He is currently also involved with the Chestermere Lake Show ‘N” Shine as sponsorship director, an event which is put on annually, and raises thousands of dollars for local charities.

    Graham has a background in Business Management and Marketing and is currently Vice President of Sales and Owner of his own Marketing Consulting Business. He works with a number of companies to promote their charitable activities which allows him to work in conjunction with corporate personnel and store managers.

    Graham’s extensive professional history has enabled him to gain strengths in negotiation, mediation and arbitration. He would like to use these skills combined with his strong communications and interpersonal expertise to build a stronger community.

    Graham see’s some of the challenges Chestermere faces, including density, high rent for small businesses and difficulty attracting labor. He would like to look at some different models from those that are currently being used in terms of development and growth. He fears our community is growing too fast and if we are not ready for that growth with long-term planning then he feels it will make things more expensive to play catch-up in the future.

    Graham would like to promote our community while preserving the quality of life our small town provides. He supports the growth of commercial and light industrial while sustaining a balance between quality of life and affordability.

    Building large recreational amenities is important to Graham, although he would like to see it done in a cooperative effort by developing relationships with other groups and looking at methods used by others municipalities that were successful in providing these much needed facilities without further tax burden on the residents.

    Graham feels that Chestermere has always had so much to offer and because he has the time to dedicate as well as solid attributes which can help to steer our town in the right direction, he would like the opportunity to further his lasting involvement by becoming a member of town council.

    You can contact Paul Graham via email him at pklg@shaw.ca

    Ramona BAGLEY – Candidate Profile for the Office of Councillor in Chestermere

    Ramona Bagley

    Ramona Bagley

    Ramona Bagley is originally from Manitoba, and moved to Chestermere 4 years ago with her husband and 2 young sons. Since moving to Chestermere, she has been involved in ParentLink, the Chestermere Library and has participated in adult sporting leagues at the Rec Centre.

    When she first moved here, Bagley noticed a void in the community when it came to childcare so she co-founded the Chestermere Babysitting Co-operative in 2010. The group offers an option for moms looking to make wise choices with their money, while building a sense of community among families of young children.

    Bagley has a double major with a degree in both geography and political sciences. She currently works as a travel and vacations package specialist for WestJet Vacations allowing her the flexibility to work from home. Leading up to that, she has over 18 years of experience in the retail sales and marketing industry which includes being a Marketing and Sales Director for the Chamber of Commerce in Brandon Manitoba.

    Bagley is running for council because she wants to continue to make Chestermere a great place to work and live. She was inspired to become involved in politics from her mother-in-law who ran for county council in Nova Scotia with the goal to make a difference for her community. Bagley saw how hard her mother-in-law worked and it inspired her to want to be a part of a group of people that can make great things happen for a community.

    Bagley wants to bring her passion and enthusiasm to council and ensure the town continues to follow good stewardship practices when it comes to spending tax dollars. She see’s land use as one of the biggest issues facing council currently and wants to look at ways to overcome the challenges that will represent themselves over time due to growth. She feels that effective land use is the best resolution to our ever evolving community needs.

    Bagley believes that trust is the most important attribute of a town councillor. Residents need to be able to trust the decision making process and trust that the representatives will make community minded decisions. She hopes that residents will learn that, although she has a quiet personality, she feels it is best for listening and adds that she cares about the community at large and will focus on strong personal and corporate community identity.

    Bagley plans to listen to the people of Chestermere and represent their best interests. Her goal is to work toward building a stronger, united community in a responsible manner. She understands that it is our hard earned dollars that the council has to work with and she wants to ensure trustworthy decisions are made with it.

    You can contact Ramona Bagley via email at ramona.bagley@yahoo.ca

    Rob TRUNG – Candidate Profile for the Office of Councillor in Chestermere

    Rob Trung

    Rob Trung

    Rob Trung believes that one of the great things about Chestermere is the small town feel it has, and he would like to preserve that. With two young children and a very supportive wife, Trung is excited at the opportunity to become more involved in the decisions that will shape and guide the development of Chestermere’s future.

    Trung was born in Hong Kong, and came to Canada with his parents when he was only one year old under refugee status. Trung says that his drive toward success and happiness for his family is a simple one and closely linked to his beginnings; when his family was sponsored to come to Canada, they were given the incredible opportunity to have what many of us take for granted. “When you come from nothing, and then find yourself in the best country in the world, a land filled with opportunity, it inspires you to do more” says Trung.

    Trung married his high school sweetheart, and moved to Chestermere in 2005. Together, he and his wife have enjoyed a very active life within the community; participating and becoming involved in various events and committees including the Visioning Committee and the Community Services Advisory Board. He is also a member and volunteer for the United Way/Chestermere Partnership which raised money for local grassroots initiatives.

    Professionally, Trung followed in his father’s footsteps, and through the Alberta Apprenticeship Program he became an Automotive Service Technician by trade which he enjoyed for 14 years, before eventually progressing to his current role as a Consultant for the Alberta Government’s Ministry of Enterprise and Advanced Education.

    Trung’s vision for Chestermere is about creating better access to all essential services like a registry office and even the basics like a hardware store. His goal is to bring these services and needed infrastructure without burdening the residential tax base. He has a personal interest in the development of an aquatics facility therefore he will look for ways to explore that further.

    Trung feels the experience and knowledge that he has gained throughout his profession comes hand in hand with being on town council; they both provide the opportunity to guide development and assist people with finding out what direction to go. Throughout his career, Trung has always been expected to produce results and now with those strong skills he looks forward to the prospect of guiding Chestermere’s future.

    You may contact Rob Trung via email at robtrung@shaw.ca

    Shali BAZIUK – Candidate Profile for the Office of Councillor in Chestermere

    Shali Baziuk

    Shali Baziuk

    Shali Baziuk loves Chestermere and she says she is here to stay. She and her husband have been in Chestermere for 3.5 years and her two young children are just entering the school system. Prior to moving to Chestermere, Baziuk researched different communities before making their final choice and they couldn’t be happier.

    Baziuk takes pride in our community and has found ways to volunteer her time by sitting on the Executive School Council of her son’s school as the Co-Chair. She volunteers her time whenever she can not only to make a personal difference but also in an effort to know what matters to her fellow neighbors.

    Baziuk holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a concentration in Law which means she knows the formalities and structure surrounding local politics and policy writing. She also received a diploma in Public Relations so she feels confident that she can represent our town and its residents with professionalism and grace. She believes that her training will help her to get to the heart of any matter and then be able to articulate it concisely and clearly.

    With 15 years experience with Supply Chain and People Management, Baziuk learned how to efficiently glean the most critical information for documents and can see end to end where a project or process needs to go. As an added benefit, she has managed varying personalities with competing priorities and has the experience to get team members to work together successfully towards a common goal.

    Baziuks’ top areas of focus will be with retail and commercial growth; recreational facilities and amenities and infrastructure. In line with the previous council’s 2013-2015 Strategic Plan, she wants to help ensure the businesses that operate in Chestermere support the needs of the residents. Baziuk wants to see businesses that create employment opportunities for residents, add value to the community and be able to absorb the growth rate of Chestermere.

    Baziuk believes that most of us moved here at least in part because of the lake therefore she feels that we need to develop it to be a space that everyone can enjoy in a variety of ways. She sees Chestermere as a place for families and youth to have fun and stay active.

    Although growth can be a good problem to have, Baziuk feels it is imperative that we stay cognizant of what is around the corner so we can understand what is needed in terms of roads, facilities, pathways, etc. She wants to ensure Chestermere is set up to be able to absorb and manage the growth rather than be put in a position where we react to it, which is costly and ineffective.

    Baziuk adds that she admires the work that the current council has done and rather than change it, she wants to become a part of it to help influence and direct improvement.

    You can contact Shali Baziuk via email at shalibaziuk@shaw.ca

    Steve GRANDE – Candidate Profile for the Office of Councillor in Chestermere

    Steve Grande

    Steve Grande

    Steve Grande has been living in Chestermere for 9 years with his wife and family. They moved to Chestermere when Grande became President and Executive Director at Prince of Peace Village and Manor. Raised in Ontario, Grande received his B.SC. in Computer Science from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay.

    He later returned to graduate school to complete his MDiv Degree and became a Lutheran Pastor. Eventually, Grande became interested in real estate and got a real estate license and then a broker license and opened up his own Commercial Real Estate Business providing land sales and land development consulting services.

    Grande formerly sat on the Chestermere Community Services Advisory Board for 7 years as well as the Chestermere Community Recreational Board (CRCA). He has also been an active and passionate volunteer for Chestermere United Soccer. Grande feels all of his past experiences are important because they have provided him with insight into the community and our relationships with important stakeholders.

    It is no secret that Chestermere is a rapidly growing area and Grande feels that with the level of development going on, it is imperative that the town have a strong relationship with existing and potential developers and open the door to new business in Chestermere. Grande would like to explore what things are working and what is not working – then start new conversations to come up with solutions.

    Another relationship that Grande does not want to take for granted is that between Chestermere and Rocky View County. Like any neighbor, it is best to have a friendly relationship and Grande would like to see more efforts made to foster that important rapport. Grande feels we need to look for efficiencies in what we do, strengthening the joint use agreements that we currently have and explore others where possible.

    Lastly, Grande is frustrated with the amount of underutilized public space within our town boundaries. Grande understands that one of the needs of a community is space to gather and grow but we’re finding out that we’re lacking in this type of space.  Grande says that because we don’t have the halls and the churches to provide space, our new non-profit organizations are suffering.  Organizations that are actively involved in improving the quality of life in this town and are providing that social network to help those who need it can’t find the space to do what we really need them to do. Therefore, Grande wants to explore our public spaces such as schools and find out why they are not being utilized on weekends and during the summer when they are so desperately needed. After all, tax payers own these facilities, says Grande, so why can’t they be used to benefit the community when they are not needed for the main function they were designed for? Grande believes town council needs to be active in leading that conversation.
    You can contact Steve Grande via email at steve@equinoxone.ca

    Stu HUTCHISON – Candidate Profile for the Office of Councillor in Chestermere

    Stu Hutchison

    Stu Hutchison

    Born and raised in east Calgary, Stu Hutchison has been married for 38 years and moved to Chestermere in 1992 when the population was just 1000 people. He is the longest standing representative on town council, currently serving his seventh term. His history with Chestermere Lake goes back even further then that though – has a young boy around 11 or 12 years old, Hutchison remembers coming out to Chestermere to camp in the Provincial Campground that once sat on the edge of the waters where John Peake Park is now located.

    Hutchison is an electrician for the Calgary Board of Education. He first ran for town council in 1993 because at the time he felt that it was essential to make sure the residents of Chestermere had the chance to be heard. He still believes this today and has continued to ensure citizens continue to have the opportunity to address council with their concerns and this is why he implemented Question Period at town council meetings.

    Hutchison feels he is able to offer a unique perspective to the council; through his knowledge of the history he can offer guidance to the townspeople and council members. He has been a part of two land annexations therefore deeply understands the process for growth and he believes this experience will be critical in the next year when approving a Master Area Structure Plan for development directly adjacent to Calgary’s borders.
    Hutchison is proud to be an advocate for public lake access, sitting on the Parks committee for 20 years and has lead the way for the development of Anniversary Park which he notes will be completed entirely on grants therefore; it is a direct benefit to Chestermere residents without affecting the taxes. He is looking forward to the future plans of the Sunset Beach development along with the park space at the north end of the lake and the Cove, both of which are high on his priorities list.

    Hutchison has obviously been involved in many projects that have made notable impacts on our community including the purchasing the land for our existing recycling area, as well as the creation of the Chestermere Fire Services and approval for construction of the Emergency Services Building.

    While Hutchison has been committed to this Town through his service on Council and sitting on numerous committee’s over the past two decades, there are plans that he would like to see through in the next four years including putting the infrastructure in place that will relieve traffic concerns as well as advocating for the creation of a major recreational facility to serve the public without impacting taxes for operations or maintenance.

    If re-elected Hutchison says he will continue to be the voice for the people of Chestermere, both on Council and in his vision for the future.
    You can contact Stu Hutchison via email at hutchrs@telus.net

    Thomas FLEGER – Candidate Profile for the Office of Councillor in Chestermere

    Thomas Fleger

    Thomas Fleger

    Born and raised in Ontario, Thomas Fleger moved to Chestermere in 2010 and now resides with his pet pig, Penny in one of Chestermere’s only remaining and original lakefront cabins. It is fair to say that Fleger is creative and innovative; therefore it is not surprising that after some self-reflecting he gave up his early intention to be a software engineer and instead pursued becoming an artist and self-taught master upholsterer.

    Fleger attended and graduated from a business school in Calgary where he learned important concepts such as developing a business plan. These skills have come in handy for Fleger, who dedicates most of his time to creating eco/folk art; made of old, throw-away furniture. Through his efforts, he has become an award winning and respected member of the art world.

    The young artist has donated many of his original pieces, some that have even won various awards in art shows; including the Calgary Stampede; to charitable organizations for silent auction items or other uses. You may be familiar with the popular “tie” chair found in the Chestermere Public Library, which was created and donated to the Library by Fleger.

    Fleger has shared his talents with our community by being involved in art clubs, volunteering at one of Chestermere’s popular haunted houses, and he is currently volunteering his time doing the interior on the fire truck for the Chestermere Historical Society. He has also spent a significant amount of time volunteering at a rescue farm for abused and injured animals just outside of Calgary. Fleger currently works at the airport designing and building upholstered parts for the aviation industry.

    Fleger prides himself on being a free-thinking creative problem solver. By nature, he is resourceful and feels that is positive attribute that he can offer the residents of Chestermere and town council. He enjoys this community, and would like the opportunity to spend more time giving back by coming up with innovative solutions for local problems.

    Fleger has an inquisitive mind and loves to learn new things which he believes will be an asset to becoming a member of town council. If elected, Fleger promises he will be able to dedicate a significant amount of time to the job and even more so, to the community. Fleger admits he is not like most people, but feels his out-of-the-box approach to life will be a benefit to the future of Chestermere.
    You can contact Thomas via email at tommyfleger@gmail.com

    Troy PRUSKY – Candidate Profile for the Office of Councillor in Chestermere

    Troy Prusky

    Troy Prusky

    Troy Prusky made Chestermere his home back in 1997. Along with his immediate family consisting of his wife and three young children, both Prusky’s parents and in-laws also reside in Chestermere. Growing up, Prusky always enjoyed discussing politics with his Father, who was a Fire Marshall for the City of Calgary and so he feels that getting involved at the municipal level fits well with his natural interests.

    For 10 years Prusky worked as a Golf Professional at Lakeside Greens Golf Club right here in Chestermere. During his time there he was able to talk to many Chestermere residents and have discussions surrounding the good and the bad of our town. Prusky comments that watching the once small community develop from 3,000 to over 15,000 people has been interesting and he feels that taking that next step to become more involved is vital.

    In the past, Prusky has dedicated his time toward giving back through volunteering for programs like the Alberta Pro Golf Association’s Junior Camps as well as the Town of Chestermere’s Inclusion Committee, which looked for resources and ways to ensure the connection of all ethnicities within our community.

    Prusky is now a business owner of a construction and trucking company and through his experiences being at the forefront of his business, he had learned good decision making skills, understanding that every action has a consequence as well as the importance of being accountable.

    Having played sports all his life, he embodies what it means to be a good team player which he thinks will be an asset for an effective town council. Being reliable; a good communicator and a problem solver are values he trusts will help him in the future. Prusky intends to be a councillor for the people – and his decisions on council will reflect that.

    Prusky aims to be an advocate for the education system in Chestermere, lobbying for more schools. He sees the pressure the school buildings are under and knows that is not an ideal scenario for our children. He also advocates business commerce, specifically mom & pop shops and even more specifically, he wants to offer support by looking at things that will make it feasible for them to succeed including tax bases and lease options. Additionally, he believes that the developers that operate here need to take a larger role in terms of financial responsibility.

    Prusky notes that the demographics have changed and therefore, policies need to as well. He is encouraged about the opportunity to be elected as councillor and the opportunity to re-look at things like the tax base structure to see where improvements can be made.

    You contact Troy Prusky via email at tprusky@telus.net

    1 Comment

    1. Mike Brooke

      October 10, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      I was at the all candidate forum held on Oct 9 and had a chance to see these candidates in the spotlight and on the spot when questions were asked.

      While all are strong contenders, there was one that really stood out from the rest: RAMONA BAGLEY.
      She carried herself well, was confident and didn’t try to skirt any of the questions as many of the others did. I think she would be an asset on town council for the future of this town.

      She has my vote and I would highly recommend that she gets yours too!