Continuing to advocate for constituents is a top priority for Red Deer County Division 4 Councillor Connie Huelsman in the upcoming election this fall.
Huelsman feels she was able to accomplish many things due to her ability to listen to her community.
“I feel that in my first term I accomplished some things, but I have some projects that are still ongoing and I would like to see them through,” she said. “I think two terms is a nice transition. You get started and you want to finish what you started.
“Once you get out and talk to people – that experience helps you more. Once you listen to your constituents, they teach you a lot and that experience has changed me as a person. I have a stronger connection to my community.”
Huelsman takes great pride in being able to provide a voice for her community.
“I want to keep supporting my community,” she said. “I am a proven leader and fiscal responsibility is something I feel very strongly about. I have a strong work ethic and I am out there for my constituents. If they call me, we will work together to try to solve issues.
“You can’t always please everyone but the key thing is to listen to people. That is what people want.”
Infrastructure is a key need throughout Red Deer County, according to Huelsman.
“I think we are growing and we have infrastructure needs,” she said. “I know in my area, we have some roads I’d like to take a look at in the future that we could use for connector roads. As a County, we are growing and spreading especially in the area of the QEII and Highway 42.
“I know in my area around Bowden, we have done an area structure plan with the Town of Bowden. We are growing and we need to meet the needs of our communities, both in terms of infrastructure and right now.”
Huelsman hopes that infrastructure needs, including a new seniors’ facility in Innisfail, will be achieved through community and provincial advocating.
“We have to advocate and work within our communities.,” she said. “That was one of my platforms from the last election to see if we could get a new seniors facility in Innisfail. We had it announced and then the government changed so we had to go back to the drawing board.
“You have to keep advocating and have the contacts in government and your community to get things done.”
Huelsman explained the current council became a very effective unit throughout the course of the term.
“We get along well and we have a good working relationship,” she said. “We all worked together well. We have a lot to be proud of in the County of Red Deer and we accomplished all of our staff goals that we set up during our first planning session and then some. We worked well as a team.”
Fiscal responsibility is something which remains on Huelsman’s agenda.
“We have to keep advocating to ensure that we are one of the municipalities that receive funding,” she said. “We have to prioritize spending, which comes from workshops and strategic planning sessions. We have to ensure that what we are doing with taxpayer dollars is what they actually want and need.”
Huelsman noted the issue of rural crime and safe communities is something that is very important to her.
“I really want to make a better future for our children and generations to come,” she said.
Huelsman hopes her experience and community mindfulness will lead her into another term.
“I believe voters will choose a candidate who has an exemplary track record and that is a strong leader in this community,” she said. “I have been in this community for almost 40 years and I have very strong ethical standards for myself. I believe I represent the public interest – they know me personally and professionally in the community.”
She added, “I am a hardworking business woman and I care about the future of rural Alberta. I am a proven leader, strong community partner and I always play an active role in supporting the community.”