Billboards don’t quite cut it

The election campaign signs went up Sept. 1 on 34 public sites across the cityscape.

Even Mayor Morris Flewwelling, who so far is facing no competition in his third and probably last bid to lead the City, has joined the billboard craze.

There are many new candidates vying to become City councillors, including some excellent ones.

Dianne Wyntjes, Christopher Stephan, Paul Harris, Terry Lee Ropchan and Jim Watters are all credible candidates aiming to either replace any of the six incumbents who have chosen to run again or claim the seats that will be left vacant from Lorna Watkinson-Zimmer and Larry Pimm, who are both retiring.

And the list could still grow longer and more impressive before nomination day officially closes on Sept. 20.

This all shapes up to a potentially wide and healthy range of options for citizens when they cast their votes on Oct. 18.

However, billboards, faces and names themselves do not add up to an election with substance for Red Deerians, who stayed away at the ballot box in 2007 in alarmingly low numbers.

What this campaign needs is serious discussion and debate on issues. Citizens have a right to choose a candidate who has the best plan and ideas for the next three years.

There are less than six weeks left before voting day, and there are a few issues already rising to the surface faster and more pronounced than all the others.

Many Red Deerians are deeply concerned the City over spent before the recession hit in late 2008. They are concerned that restraint measures put in the last civic budget will continue longer and deeper than they were originally led to believe, and if the province continues to show the same belt-tightening, there is worry many social programs and the overall quality of life could suffer, especially for citizens still reeling from the recession.

Added to this is that there is a growing feeling that if the City wants to put forward a plan to stimulate growth in the local economy it will have to do a better job of courting the corporate sector to pay the bills. Red Deerians are in no mood to see their taxes rise again to pay for big pie in the sky capital projects.

The City missed a golden opportunity in 2008 when the first grand plans were put forward for the future of the Riverlands. Leading men of business in the City and region wanted to run with the ball to the corporate end zone but it was stripped away.

Red Deer urgently needs a reason to get exited about its future again. Billboards won’t cut it. Ideas, action and a commitment to make it happen will.

Just Posted

Creativity on display via the Middle Schools Awesome Art Show

‘First Friday’ Red Deer opening reception runs May 4th

Additional closures as water levels rise in the Red Deer River

Red Deer River rose by half a metre over the past twenty-four hours

City art gallery to close after 20 years in the business

Lacombe mainstay set to close at the end of April

Central Alberta dancers ‘shimmy’ for a great cause

Shimmy Mob will take place in more than 169 locations all over the world

Toronto van attack suspect faces 10 counts of first-degree murder

The suspect in the Toronto van attack that killed 10 people and injured 15 others on Monday is a 25-year-old man named Alek Minassian

Issues split Trump and Macron, handshakes and kisses aside

Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron professed a sunny, best-friends relationship

How hospitals prepare for mass-casualty incidents

Code Orange alerts explained following the Toronto van attack

Jury to deliberate after Cosby painted as predator

A jury of seven men and five women are to decide actor Bill Cosby’s fate

Memorial to victims of Toronto van attack continues to grow

The subway station where a van was used to run down pedestrians has reopened in Toronto

Small aircraft touches down on Calgary street

The twin-engine plane was apparently short on fuel forcing an emergency landing

Doctor sees healing power in psychedelic plant as Peru investigates death of B.C. man

Peru’s attorney general has ordered the arrest of two suspects in the killing of 41-year-old Sebastian Woodroffe

Toronto police officer ‘gave himself the space and time’ in van attack

Footage shows officer standing up, turning off his siren and talking clearly to the suspect

Turning vehicles into deadly weapons is easy and cheap, expert says

Not all recent vehicle attacks have been linked to terror groups, says Candyce Kelshall

Most Read