In case you haven't noticed, there is a civic election on the horizon. Sure, there's not a lot of coverage in the papers these days - only five or so pages. And it's not like there are a lot of signs on lawns around town... oh wait, there are. And it's not like there are 18 candidates vying for your attention... Yes, 18.
On Oct. 15, there will be a cornucopia of candidates to choose from to replace the outgoing Mayor Al Duerr.
Derek Wilken, 42, is against "the creation of the homeless industry" in downtown Calgary. He says the two buildings that have been opened in the last six months for the homeless have created a "ghetto." He'd like to see an increase in funding for the arts, and would like to give the city more fibre optic access, so we can be "more wired for the Internet, and the Supernet that's coming."
Russel "Rusty" Welch, 40, says he looked at the four front runners for the mayor's chair, and didn't see anyone with common sense. He'd like to build a circle route LRT system with the money from selling Enmax, with stops at the airport, the industrial areas, Mount Royal College, and some outlying communities. He wouldn't sell Enmax to another company, he'd put out a share offering. His Web site is www.prairie-survivor.com.
Vincent Symington, 38, was born and raised in Calgary, and has "a few ideas to help keep the city as good as it is." He's running because he says he'll "try anything once," and would like to see students and seniors get free transit use.
Doug Service, 46, has been running for mayor for the past 12 years, but has been planning for the last 20. He says he's "spirit-filled," and has 14 reasons to elect him, which you can see on his Web site at www.dougservice.com. He wants to see a computer in every home, flat billing rates for electricity, and a two-tier road across Calgary.
Joseph Schwartzenberger, 42, is a former garbage man turned sewer worker with the city of Calgary, and is running because decisions made at city hall "affect people day to day," and he feels "things can be done" to improve the city. He'd like to implement a recycling program at the city landfills, auctioning off reclaimed junk, with proceeds going to charity.
Peter Sadlon, 25, is running "just for fun, really." He says his platform isn't aimed specifically at students, or anyone, but wants to keep Enmax, expand the city's green space, and have stricter smoking laws in place.
Brett Martin, 22, has been interested in politics since he was a kid, but found that "no one appealed to young Canadians." His plans for the city include a 24 hour a day transit service, including more buses for MRC, and money for the Flames. He wants to run a "fun campaign."
Richard Magnus is "51 big ones, but doesn't feel like it." He's been a member of Ralph Klein's provincial government team for eight years, and wants to get rid of photo radar, which he says "turns police officers into tax collectors," which is "inherently wrong."
Bev Longstaff, the only female candidate, did not return our calls prior to press time.
Bob Krengal, 49, would like to see a "total change" in municipal government, because what's in place now "doesn't seem to be working." He'd like to see the roads upgraded, to handle Calgary's growing population.
Allan Hunter, 45, says he's tired of "career politicians and their excuses." He'd like to see city hall become more accountable, and see partnerships with the journalism and broadcast students in the city when it comes to media coverage at city hall. He says students "need to get more involved, this is their future." He says the universal bus pass should be a decision for students to make, not "some committee." His Web site is www.mayorhunter.com.
Chad Hamzeh, 21, wants to do something about voter apathy. He wants to "integrate public input" into city council. His Web site is www.chadformayor.com.
Roy Foster, 49, says he's never been involved in civic politics before, but he's had "a large number of support." He says he's been behind education "right from the beginning."
Oscar Fech, 64, says he's running for "truth, justice and fairness," things he doesn't see at city hall these days. He doesn't like the closed door policies of council. "The public must know where the money is going," he says. He'd like to see student fees dropped by half or more. Government, he says, has "no feeling for anyone, they're all about profit, and that's wrong."
Jim DeLay, 41, says he cares "so much for Calgary," that he wanted to give something back. He's for C-Train expansion, and positive reinforcement for non-smoking places instead of "heavy-handed" policies. He says Enmax should be voted on, and if it's sold, the people should get the money from the sale. His Web site is www.jimdelay.com.
Ray Clark, 56, has "a strong desire to be mayor." He's spent 15 years on city council, and came in second in the last civic election. His slogan is "people first," and he thinks his platform appeals to all people, students included. He'd like to see more schools or branches of education facilities located in the northeast.
Dave Bronconnier, 38, has been an alderman for the past nine years. Bronconnier says affordable housing, water quality and Enmax are some of the big issues he's concerned about. He'd like to see MRC and the U of C adopt the universal bus pass that SAIT currently has. He has a birthday coming up on October 7.
Ricky Boucher. Boucher, 50, says that he's running his campaign "from the heart."
Boucher says "I want to give the power back to the people." He says that "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." He was also in the Interior Design program at the college in the 1980's. More information can be found at www.rickyboucher.com.
For more information on who can vote, when and where to vote, and a full candidate's list of who's running for mayor, alderman, health authority or school trustee in your area, visit www.gov.calgary.ab.ca/cityclerks/services/elections.html. Or watch your mailbox for the voting pamphlet, which will let you know what ward you are in, and where the nearest voting station is.