Competition is good

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We have some competition in municipal elections in Olds and Bowden this year.

That’s good to see. I wish there was more.

In Olds, the race for mayor is between incumbent mayor Judy Dahl and accountant Michael Muzychka.

Thirteen people are running for six council positions. They are incumbent councillors Wade Bearchell, Debbie Bennett, Rudy Durieux, Mary Jane Harper, Mary Anne Overwater and Harvey Walsh.

Challengers seeking their first term on council are Keith Bishop, Wanda Blatz, Gordon Bueckert, Matthew Cadrin, Heather Ryan, Ron Stade and David Terry.

There’s a two-person race in Bowden too, between incumbent Robb Stuart and challenger Earl Wilson, who has served as a town councillor for six years.

Unfortunately, there’s no race for Bowden council. As of the 12 noon deadline yesterday, six people had let their names stand. Because there are six seats on council, they’re all acclaimed.

Those councillors are: incumbents Sandy Gamble, Paul Webb and Wayne Milaney, along with newcomers Carol Pion, Kerry Kelm and Randy Brown.

Competition for mayor and for council is a good thing. It spurs debate about issues in the community. Too often, people tend to pay little attention to municipal politics, which is too bad, because, as the saying goes, municipal government is the one that’s closest to the people.

We need more discussion about how both Bowden and Olds should proceed in the future. For example: how should growth be handled? What’s the best level of taxation to achieve that goal?

So kudos to those who have chosen to enter the municipal arena. Hopefully more candidates will come forward next time around.

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Doug Collie

Doug Collie joined the Olds Albertan in 2014 as editor. He covers municipal politics, news, community events, arts and entertainment and sports happening in and around Bowden and Olds.