SUNDRE — A candidate who for the first time is running for a council seat says getting residents more involved is an important part of the equation to foster long-term growth.
“That’s a major one — is getting the residents involved with the decisions,” said Doug Laveck when asked what he considers to be among the primary issues facing the community.
Of course recognizing that not everyone will ever be pleased with outcomes of certain discussions, Laveck nevertheless believes building a large percentage consensus is possible by getting people to work together.
“I want to go in with a team of people that we can be transparent and honest but yet have fun with what we’re doing,” he said.
Although Laveck has never before sat at a council table, he said he does have experience being involved in public office. That background includes a work history in management and operations with the Alberta Motor Transport Association as well as some time invested in teaching at Lethbridge Community College.
During that time, he enjoyed working with people and seeing them improve through education and training.
“I feel that my work history can do lots for the community as a team member,” he said.
Although he spent a number of years outside of Mountain View County, Laveck, who is now retired, was born and raised in the Water Valley area.
“I’m basically back home again,” he said, adding he wants to pay it forward.
“I just want to give back to the community for the past 20-plus years that have been good for us here,” he said when asked why he decided to run.
Among his priorities is ensuring Sundre’s senior population is kept well informed about what is happening in the community. Many elder residents don’t readily have access, or necessarily know how to use, the internet, he said, adding that must be kept in mind when developing communication strategies.
He also hopes voters take the time to get involved, and lamented the historically low voter turnout of municipal elections.
“That has got to change. We’ve got to get people out to vote and say their piece,” he said.
Perhaps, he wonders, that past precedents are poised to change, as indicated by the number of candidates who submitted nominations this time.
“I really enjoyed this year seeing 10 people running for council and three for mayor. The more the better,” he said, later adding he hopes “to see all new faces.”
If elected, Laveck wants to help determine other ways to generate revenue without disproportionately depending on residential taxes.
“We are taxed out. There’s lots of things we can do to bring in extra money,” he said.
While grants are important, they cannot be depended on alone. Part of the solution, he suggested, could involve providing additional local educational and trades training opportunities to open doors for entrepreneurs and businesses to grow.
Additionally, he said introducing new family-friendly amenities like a splash sprinkler park could play a part toward enticing people to either settle or stay in Sundre.
“Being family orientated, I believe keeping existing families and attracting new young families is very important to me and for our community.”