City Councillor Michelle Young announced that she is running for mayor in the upcoming municipal election.
“I’ve spent the last four years as a councillor, and it was always a goal, but I wanted to make sure that I had done it in the right steps,” Young said.
While serving the community the last four years, Young was able to learn about the ins and outs of the municipality.
“It was the right time, I feel like I’m ready, I feel like I can serve the community and want to take that service to the next level,” Young said.
For Young, communication and transparency are key to a trusted relationship between residents, city council, and administration.
“Keeping responsible spending in mind with all decisions and ensuring that the tough questions are asked. Growth is key to a sustainable community. However, responsible development is critical, and keeping a just because you can doesn’t mean you should mindset. My focus is to make certain that Chestermere is an inclusive, viable, and safe place to live, work, and play,” Young said.
“Residents have every right to demand and expect transparency from their elected officials. Throughout my term on council, I strived to be as open, honest, and transparent as possible. Prior to being elected in 2017, I will admit that I did not know fully what the transparency of an elected official entailed. I soon learned that there is a degree of confidentiality one must respect as an elected official which is tricky when also trying to be transparent with the community,” she said.
Young is proud of the changes that city council has made over the last four years to address transparency within the community, by incorporating question periods within council meetings, and going in-camera only when necessary.
“This too is a tricky balance between protecting those sensitive details of an issue while remaining transparent. Some could argue that council should never go in camera. I too wish that were the case. But realistically, there are very specific items that do require a high degree of confidentiality and I take comfort that no decision making, or voting is taking place in camera, residents are kept up to date on all decisions,” Young said.
Adding, “I will strive to ensure that in camera sessions are held only when necessary and to be kept as brief as possible.”
Young made the announcement that she is running for mayor on April 21, and since has received a lot of positive feedback from the community.
“There was a lot of positive feedback, it was very humbling and very overwhelming. There was a lot of support from friends, family, and people in the community, I’m really excited,” Young said.
Due to COVID-19 Young is unable to traditionally campaign by door knocking, attending open houses, round table meet and greets, and community events.
Young is now taking her campaign online and having a large social media presence by posting on where she stands on different issues and topics and being responsive to emails and phone calls.
Volunteers are also hanging information on residents’ doors, with no face-to-face interaction to follow COVID-19 protocols.
Throughout the summer, Young will be having zoom meet and greets, to give residents an opportunity to receive the information they want and have their questions answered.
“During the campaigning process, one of the things that I loved the most was getting the opportunity to talk to people that maybe don’t already know me, the engagement with the public is huge,” Young said.
“Should I be successful some of the things that I’m really looking forward is being able to escalate my involvement. The mayor role is full time, and your more involved with things on the day-to-day basis, and really keeping a lot of those positive things that we’ve done in the last four years moving ahead, such as no tax increases, no utility rate increases, we started taking a closer look and trying to have more meaningful development, all of those positive trends added to moving forward, she said.
Adding, “I really want to be there to keep steering in that positive direction.”
For more information, visit https://www.votemichelle.ca/