SUNDRE — Two current members of council have officially announced their intent to run for the hot seat in the upcoming October municipal election.
Following outgoing mayor Terry Leslie’s decision not to seek reelection, Cheri Funke and Richard Warnock both decided to throw their names in the proverbial hat.
“The day that the (town) office opened, I picked up my nomination forms, got my signatures and put them in that afternoon,” said Funke.
“I decided this time that I’m going to run for mayor,” she said.
Warnock, who candidly confessed not being particularly fond of the new, nine-month election campaign period, said the change will at least hopefully give people an opportunity to get more engaged in the process.
Over the coming months, Warnock said he will be building his platform prior to campaigning over the summer.
“I want to make sure that I’m prepared” before announcing any policy positions, he said.
“That’ll all be done properly over a two or three month period, and then when it’s completed and I’m happy with where it is, then I will gladly make it public.”
In the meantime, the councillor added he was prepared to make public the fact he had already submitted his nomination papers for a mayoral bid.
“I felt it was fair for me to make a decision earlier in the process so that people were aware of what I was planning.”
Anticipating challenging times ahead in the years to come in the fallout of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, he said the municipality is going to “need all the help we can get as a community to be strong in that recovery period.”
Warnock said he has no personal agenda and nothing to gain from the position, and added that “Sundre needs a strong voice…and I believe that I am that voice for Sundre.”
Funke said she is proud of the foundation that council has spent building over the past four-year term, and wants to continue that progress.
“I love my community. This is my home — it will be home for the rest of my life, and I want to make sure that we have a sustainable foundation to keep going for many years,” she said, hailing transparency and communication as “my ultimate focus.”
Throughout the course of many conversations in the community with residents and business owners to seek feedback on her performance as a councillor, Funke said, “There’s been the comment that they would like me to run for mayor.”
The councillor said her primary focus is ensuring residents know what council is doing in terms of “how we’re spending their money and taking their ideas and concerns, and trying to alleviate some of the stresses that they’re feeling.”
Uncertain at the time of the interview how many others might run for mayor, Funke said she welcomes those who are willing to step up to the challenge.
“We need some strong people in those chairs. So, I welcome everyone that thinks that they can fill the seat.”