The third candidate to associate themselves with Red Deer First has announced their intentions to run for City council this fall.
Tanya Handley, wife of Ryan Handley, spokesperson for Red Deer First, said she has been interested in politics for a number of years and recently one issue in particular pushed her to run in the upcoming municipal election.
“The bike lane implementation was a tipping point for me. The majority of citizens were not consulted and the project was pushed through anyway. Petitions were required just to have the citizens’ voices heard. It shouldn’t be this hard to get our government to listen to the people,” she said. “I have been following politics for a very long time on all different levels and three years ago I sent a letter to the City expressing my displeasure with the overspending on the civic yards. I received two letters back from councillors and one defended the whole thing and said it was an inexpensive façade and defended the project. The second letter said ‘If you don’t like it, you run then.’
“I thought about that for a long time and at first I was upset at such a curt response, and then I thought that maybe he had the right idea. At the time my kids were a little young but now that they are a little more independent I thought I would just go for it.”
Tanya, who is currently completing her hairstyling apprenticeship and who previously worked at a local bank for 10 years, added if elected she would bring a common sense approach to council.
“I personally feel that every dollar that our council spends is my money. Just going back to the civic yards there are pillars that go above the building and extra windows and fancy brick. In my opinion every one of those bricks was paid for by my tax dollars. I don’t think that was a good use of taxpayers’ money,” she said. “I believe my background balancing a family budget and my work experience would help me in making decisions that would benefit the most possible citizens of our great City. I have a strong belief in fiscal responsibility and in accountable, transparent government. We need to bring our spending levels down so we can leave the City in a responsible position for our children. I believe I am the right person to make those tough decisions and hope to become a successful City councillor.”
Tanya added she decided to align herself with Red Deer First because of the support and like-mindedness of the other candidates.
“I noticed very quickly that one fiscally conservative voice on council just gets outvoted over and over. A group of us sat down and talked about how we could make a change in the City. We just all decided we needed to get more than one person that has the same idea about putting the brakes on spending that is out of control. That’s really how I ended up aligning myself with Red Deer First.”