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Didsbury mayor contender says cutting red tape would be priority

Erhard Poggemiller wants to undertake numerous projects
MVT Erhard Poggemiller
Erhard Poggemiller. File photo/MVP Staff

DIDSBURY — Erhard Poggemiller says if he is elected Didsbury mayor on Oct. 18, he plans to undertake numerous projects and push for some changes in the way town council and administration currently operates.

A current first-term councillor in Didsbury, Poggemiller is facing off against current mayor Rhonda Hunter in the 2021 election campaign.

Promoting economic development would be one of his priorities if he is elected, he said. 

“I would like to see how we could both entice businesses to locate in Didsbury and well as council making provision for support,” said Poggemiller.

“We can’t monetarily give them support. But we sure can provide easy access to permitting and we can do some creative work with them on advertising for them through the website in the town, to introduce them to the town and that kind of thing.

“We could get rid of some red tape that they do encounter when they do come to town. There is quite a bit of red tape now, and an example of that is you have to go through a whole process to put a sign up. I think the person in charge of development in the community should be able to handle those issues. 

“I don’t think we need to have a municipal planning commission meeting for that or charge exorbitantly to do that. Right now, there is a fee for everything.” 

He said he would also like to see improved communication between the town and the public, including by improving the town’s website and making it easier to access information.

He said he would like to see councillors be given more leeway in communicating with the public.

“I think every council member should be free to engage with the public on various issues without being told it’s the mayor's job to do that,” he said. “I don’t believe it is the mayor’s job to do that. There needs to be some freedom of movement for council members to be able to do that.”

He said he would like to see the public be given more time to make comments and ask questions during council meetings, including at the beginning of meetings.

He said he would work to reduce the number of in-camera meetings held by council.

“That way, we are more open to the public,” he said.

He said he would like to see the town do a better job with infrastructure maintenance, including roads.

“I think we need to have a better plan set up for that,” he said.

He said he would consider supporting ways of reducing policing costs.

If elected, he said he would strive to make the most of every councillor’s skill set.

“The last four years that I’ve been on council, the skill set of most of the councillors wasn’t even tapped at all,” he said. “My job as mayor would be to ensure that all the council members are utilized to their fullest capacity.”

He said he would like to see the town’s tender process reexamined with the aim of reducing costs.

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Dan Singleton

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