City resident Tim Lasiuta has entered the race for a seat on City council in next month’s municipal election.
Lasiuta said his involvement in the community has helped to make him a knowledgeable and practical choice for City council. He also pointed out that there doesn’t currently seem to be much representation for the average citizen.
He added that having worked in a number of areas over the years has also bolstered not only his experience in the community but it’s broadened his perspective as well.
Meanwhile, he’s concerned about the City’s debt load.
“The truth of the matter is a municipality with debt is basically bound for a long time to somebody. You can’t have the freedom to respond to issues that come up.
“It seems the more wealth we have in Red Deer and the more money that flows into our fair City, the more we think we can afford debt. But you can never afford debt.
“You build a community by investment in the community – not by debt.”
Next month’s election will also be providing opportunity for voters to indicate their opinion on whether the City is ready for a ward system. While it does provide a sense of accountability amongst councillors, there are problems with it such as what if a particular resident doesn’t connect with their given representative, said Lasiuta.
“I don’t think we are big enough, and our City isn’t really designed to be neighbourhood ‘self-sufficient’.”
If elected, Lasiuta said he would also work to be more involved in the community at large. “I’d like to think I’d bring some engagement in the community,” he said. “I’m also a big supporter of service groups,” he added, pointing out he’d like to bring more attention to them all, not just the two or three that seem to land most of the attention these days. “You have to look at, over time, the projects they have built.”
Some of the lesser known service groups raise concerns that they aren’t often asked to be part of a given community project, he said. Tapping into what they all have to offer would only serve to enrich and better Red Deer, he said.
“A lot of things service clubs used to do the City has taken over as part of its function, which always leads to more debt in a community and once again a lack of engagement. There’s that loss of engagement on a local level.”
For Lasiuta, being involved in the community for a period of time is what makes a candidate suitable for council. “I think you have to spend time developing what you want to do.
“I also want to make sure there is a different voice on council, and that we, as a group, would stand together and make really good decisions together.
“I think it’s time we had a councillor that looked out for everyone in the City on all levels.”