SUNDRE — There are some substantial changes to the municipal election process rolling out before Albertans vote this fall.
The differences from past elections pertain primarily to the nomination and campaign periods, which are now much longer than before.
“Nomination day now starts on January 1, and goes all the way to four weeks prior to the election day (on Oct. 18),” said Linda Nelson, chief administrative officer.
Candidate information has been posted on the town's website,
Asked whether she had any expectations with regards to the number of anticipated nominations, she said, “We don’t know anything until we actually get the nomination papers in. It’s really not appropriate for me to do any kind of speculation in my position.”
The town’s website, www.sundre.com, features information about the municipal election under the “Your Government” tab
Above and beyond the information package the municipality is compiling for anyone interested in running for council, Nelson said a couple of orientation sessions for potential candidates will also be planned.
“It’s highly recommended that people (who intend to run) attend,” she said.
While there is of course a mandatory orientation process for elected members of council, Nelson added that it's encouraged to get familiarized prior to the election with, for example, the council procedural bylaw and the council code of conduct as well as the Municipal Government Act, which is the second largest piece of legislation in Alberta.
“It’s always a good idea to know about things like the Local Authorities Election Act and also about the Municipal Government Act, so people have a good understanding of how a municipality actually operates,” she said.
Plans for the pre-election orientation sessions, of which there will likely be at least two, are going to be developed in the coming months and subsequently scheduled probably some time during the summer, she said.
Naturally, how the orientation will be delivered depends largely on the unfolding situation with the pandemic, she said.
“That can get fairly complicated on how we’re going to set this up," she said.
In the meantime, she said potential candidates are encouraged to ask plenty of questions if they are not familiar with the process, roles and responsibilities. Those queries can be directed not only to administration, but also serving members of council, she added.
“Ask them questions on what it’s like to be a councillor — how much time does it take, that sort of thing,” she said.
“It’s always a good idea to make sure that you’re very well informed on what the position of a councillor is.”