The Mountaineer - Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada
© 2007 The Mountaineer Publishing Company Limited.


Meet the Candidates - Mayor - Town of Rocky Mountain House

Editor’s note: Two candidates are looking to represent the Town of Rocky Mountain House as mayor. Tammy Burke is running against Sheila Mizera. Both are currently on town council. Mayor Fred Nash is not seeking reelection.

 

Tammy Burke

“If I was elected mayor I would throw that same passion I had for that group into presenting this community and encouraging business development.”

Tammy Burke has been a Rocky resident for 45 years and an active volunteer. She played a role in the formation of the local Physician Recruitment Retention Committee, bringing her strong desire to do the best job possible for this community.
“I have a great passion and support system in place. My experience in forming the committee took a lot of effort on my part as a volunteer and I really gave a lot of effort to that,” she said. “If I was elected mayor I would throw that same passion I had for that group into presenting this community and encouraging business development and nurturing our regional collaboration and commit to the ongoing and future infrastructure projects that our community needs.”

What big budget items should or shouldn’t be funded, and why?
“We have had the completion of 54 St. on the table, and I think that’s very important to the community of Creekside, so we need to relook at that. We are also talking about the north development area and those talks need to continue to move forward. Also, residential lots. We currently don’t have any other residential lots—we do have Creekside, but if any independent builders come in and want to build, we currently do not have any lots and that has been part of our strategic plan for the last four years and I would really like to figure out how we are going to move forward with that.”

Is there a specific municipal policy you feel needs immediate attention from the incoming council?
“I’ve been hearing that it’s tough to do business in Rocky, so I would like to get some kind of concrete concerns brought forward so that we can figure out what indeed the issues are with development in our community.”

Describe a bad decision made by the current council, and why you believe it was bad.
“I can’t think of one.”

Describe a good decision made by the current council, and why you believe it was good.
“I believe all the decisions we’ve made in the past have been made with the best intentions.”
What is the role of mayor in the day-to-day operations of the town?
“I believe the role of mayor is to represent our community, to go out and sell our community and to be the face of our community. I believe the mayor needs to enable a cohesive team and run good meetings in order to run business development.”

What is the most important quality in a mayor?
“The most important quality in a mayor is to be able to listen, when I say listen, I mean to both the residential and non-residential taxpayers. A mayor must be able to follow through on their actions and be responsible and a good steward of tax dollars. We need to sell our community, to be able to go out and encourage new growth.”

 

Sheila Mizera

“Decisions that have been made in the past are in the past. We want to move this community forward and grow, then let’s look to the future.”

Sheila Mizera has 10 years of experience as a councillor and a background in business, business education, faculty of extension in adult education and human resources. Mizera is also the chair of the Rocky Senior Housing Authority and has been a past director for the Chamber of Commerce.
“I have been the voice for any concerned taxpayers,” she said. “If they call me I meet with them, I talk with them and I raise their concerns.”

What big budget items should or shouldn’t be funded, and why?
“I know that when we have had big budget items in the past I have always had my eye on the bottom line, and if I can see ways of reducing costs and saving taxpayers money I put those ideas forward. When Main Street was being built and administration presented to council the custom made light standards, as I sat there I Googled Fortis light standards and I got a picture of an in-stock, antique light fixture and I looked at that price and I looked at the price of our custom ones, and they were almost half the price. I put a motion forward to do a cost comparison of these two light standards to see if we could have some cost-savings and it was voted down. So, I question the bottom line when it comes to big budget items.”

Is there a specific municipal policy you feel needs immediate attention from the incoming council?
“One hundred per cent. I put on the August agenda the Clearwater Broadband Foundation’s request for running fibre out to the Gateway business park. The fibreoptic [cable] that is running from Rocky Elementary out to the centre has to cross 42 Ave. The town is requiring that they have as-built drawings and to go a metre down—other communities don’t have that requirement. So when I brought it up to council and when our director of public works says its policy, then [a councilor] said, ‘what’s the problem, that’s policy.’ I said we need to change the policy. This policy was made before we even knew what fibre was. Why are we standing in the way of moving into the 21st century to have high-speed internet in our community? We need to change the policy. The business owners at Gateway are ready to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars of their own money to be the pilot project for high speed internet, and the town is standing in the way of making that happen by saying it’s policy. That’s ludicrous. Change the policy for shallow utilities. That utility, you could bite through it and you’re not going to blow up or get electrocuted, it has no risk factor what so ever. So for it to be three feet down is just an obstacle to progress with a vital utility.”

Describe a bad decision made by the current council, and why you believe it was bad.
“There have been decisions that should be reevaluated, but it’s too late now, so why am I going to harp on stuff that’s too late. I’m looking to the future of making the right decisions. Decisions that have been made in the past are in the past. We want to move this community forward and grow, then let’s look to the future.”
Describe a good decision made by the current council, and why you believe it was good.
“Marketplace on Main. That was a very good project that planning brought forward. It was a community event that’s economical for the town to do. It brings in tourists, people from the county and it’s a great example of how things can be done with a low-cost budget.”

What is the role of mayor in the day-to-day operations of the town?
“For me, the biggest role for the mayor is to promote and meet with developers and businesses and ask what gets in the way of them doing business with the town. As the mayor, you need to communicate with your council on opportunities to make this community grow. You need to be a team that is all working together with the ultimate goal of growth of our town. We’re going the wrong way. We need growth. We need to have a whole council moving in the same direction and given information so they can make the vital decisions for our community.”

What is the most important quality in a mayor?
“Honesty and integrity. And that’s important for every council member as well, honesty and integrity.”