Experience helped Wyntjes grow as councillor

  • Sep. 25, 2013 3:50 p.m.

City Councillor Dianne Wyntjes is seeking re-election and said this past term has given her solid experience to continue to move forward.

“It’s a privilege to do the job and service. My first term, from 2010-2013, has given me experience and comfort with the responsibilities. I’ve always had a passion for politics and have enjoyed the work and challenges these past three years. A great City to live in doesn’t just happen. It’s about vision, ideas, planning, decision-making, review and change as Red Deer evolves. It would be an honour to continue to be a councillor with my decision-making that builds Red Deer’s future.”

She said she has learned many things since being elected to council but one of the most significant learning experiences has come with the City’s bike lane pilot project.

“One never knows the full ramifications, impact and extent of a project’s pros, cons and options until the project is completed. I’ve been reminded you cannot please all people, all the time,” she said. “As a councillor you make the decisions with the best information and with the citizen feedback you have. You want to make the best decision for the community. It’s important not to get discouraged. When you don’t get it right and make mistakes, you dig in and keep working for solutions.”

She added despite the challenges, she has enjoyed her role as a councillor as well.

“Being a councillor is much more than reading, research and meetings. The best part of the job is meeting and connecting with people who each have stories, experiences and ideas. It’s about working together with colleague councillors so we can respond and improve. We all have the same desire to make our City a great community, to live, work, enjoy and grow old. We just have different ideas on how to get there. Bringing those ideas together, with results, is rewarding.”

If re-elected, Wyntjes said there are a number of issues she would like to address in the next term.

“I would like to respond to and resource infrastructure needs for our streets and sidewalks. This was rated the highest priority in the 2013 Ipsos Reid satisfaction survey. It’s important not to fall behind with infrastructure. In terms of economic development, it’s important to retain and attract business investment that diversifies our economy with jobs, services and additional tax revenue. The Riverlands development will be an exciting community for living, business and community space,” she said. “Affordability and keeping Red Deer’s taxes competitive and comparable to our neighbours and Alberta mid-sized cities is also a priority. So too is managing the increasing costs of utilities.”

She added she would like to also address provincial advocacy issues that impact Red Deer including ambulance dispatch and the next agreement with Alberta Health Services.

“Red Deer should continue to retain the services of ambulance dispatch rather than the province’s vision of centralized services to Calgary. There’s also the province’s investment in a new court house which will impact City lands, funding issues such as the Municipality Sustainability Initiative (MSI), and the future of Michener Centre and what that means for vulnerable citizens, the community and land,” said Wyntjes. “There’s the provincial review of the Municipal Government Act and the impact on municipal decision-making.

“There is also the issue of dialogue, feedback and ongoing communications with Red Deerians, including face-to-face, surveys and social media engagement throughout the term, not just at the ballot box.”