Recently retired City of Red Deer Municipal Historian Michael Dawe hopes to make his next venture on Red Deer City council.
“I have worked in the same career for 38 years,” he said. “It had reached a time to retire. I still have the interest, the energy and the commitment to my community. I have lived here all my life and I thought that I would like to run for council to see if I can make a positive contribution to the community.”
Dawe believes he makes an ideal candidate due to his time serving with many different community organizations in Red Deer.
“I have served previously on a municipal council with the position of deputy mayor – I was in that position for seven years; I was also the last of the elected chairs of the Red Deer Regional Hospital Board – I ran and was elected several times; I have been involved with many charitable causes; I sit with the Twilight Homes Foundation; I’m involved with the STARS Capital Campaign; I helped found the Red Deer Regional Hospital Foundation; I was on the Kerry Wood Nature Centre Association and I acted as an advisor when they were doing the Waskasoo Urban Parks, which I think is one of the most wonderful assets of the City.”
Dawe understands he will need to continue to work hard if elected.
“You have to earn support and part of earning that support is listening closely to what people say; paying attention to what people say and hopefully that leads to well-rounded opinions so that I can understand what people really need and want.”
Dawe said he is looking forward to the 2019 Canada Games among other events in the next term, but recognizes there will be many challenges, particularly with the economy.
“It is not a matter of ideology, it is a matter of common sense,” he said. “If there is less money around, we need to be careful with how we spend it. We also have to prioritize how we spend it because there are things we have to have. There are also things that are nice to have and there are things that can be postponed to a date when the economy is more robust.
“When it comes to taxation, you don’t have the choice. You have to pay it or there’s consequences. That is the obligation to you as a taxpayer, but the people who set taxes have an obligation to ensure we are being fair, open and transparent about why we are asking.”
Dawe added accountability is key to his platform and he believes the City can take steps to being transparent including making the annual budget available online.
Finding solutions for the crime and safety currently facing Red Deer is also important to Dawe.
“There has been good things done regarding policing in our community, but that’s not to say there isn’t more things to be done,” he said. “We need to always strive for new, innovative and proactive ways to prevent and control crime.”
Another issue that Dawe feels strongly about is ensuring that the Province of Alberta and Alberta Health Services hear the crucial need in Central Alberta for expanded hospital services.
“I feel Red Deer council can step up and become very vocal to try and make things better,” he said. “We have to keep up the pressure because Red Deer has fallen behind.”
Dawe added he believes he can provide a new perspective to council.
“I’m not running because I want to bump anyone. Rather, I would like to argue that I am deeply rooted in this community; I have a lot of experience and I maybe I can be be someone to come on stream and provide new perspectives with background.”