Candidate makes another run for town council
Okotoks: Carrie Fischer wants decision on water supply
By: Don Patterson
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 11, 2013 06:00 am
Two previous candidates for town council are hitting the campaign trail with another attempt in next month’s municipal election
The race for a seat on town council hasn’t officially kicked off, but 2010 council candidates Carrie Fischer and Michael Moore are making another run for a seat on council.
For Fischer, recreation and re-establishing an RCMP crime reduction unit are among the top items on her platform, but her main priority is to see a decision made once and for all on how the town will supply water to its residents in the long-term.
Fischer said the Town has done enough studies and public consultation on the water issue and it’s time to make a decision.
“In 2010 there was the issues with the growth and water and some of the decisions weren’t being made and unfortunately it’s essentially the same thing now,” she said. “They have made a decision on growth, but they haven’t made any decisions on water or where they’re going to get water.”
Fischer said she wants the Town to do what ever makes the most financial sense for the taxpayers.
As Okotoks continues to grow, Fischer said the Town needs to have a plan for recreation. With one-third of the town’s population under the age of 18, she said Okotoks should ensure it has the facilities to ensure children remain active.
“We don’t have enough ice, we don’t have enough pool space, all of our rec programs – private and most of the ones run through the municipality – are always full,” she said.
She said the Town needs a long-range plan for how it will build new recreation infrastructure over the years to accommodate the young families.
Fischer also wants the Town to provide funding for the RCMP’s crime reduction unit after council turned down a 2012 request for an additional officer for the unit. She said there are other areas where council could have made cuts and allocate funding to ensure the crime reduction program remained in place.
“To me, community security plays a higher priority than flags and community markers and landscaping,” she said.
Fischer also sees the need for transit in Okotoks in the next four years and said the Town should find a way to make it work. She said it can be difficult for seniors to get around the community and transit would help.
When it comes to the contentious Wind Walk development outside Okotoks’ south border, Fischer said she opposed the development in 2010 and still doesn’t like the idea of a community of its size on the town’s border. However, she said the Town needs to drop its court battle against the development.
“We’re wasting dollars at this point and we need to let it go,” she said. “We need to switch our relationship to work more constructively with the MD and at least build together something we can be happy with.”
Fischer is a member of Okotoks’ municipal planning commission and she is a former councillor for the Town of Redwater. For more information, visit www.carrieinokotoks.com.
Moore said he wants to be a part of the process as the Town prepares to grow.
“I like to be involved if I’m going to be living in a community for a long time with decision making and planning,” he said.
Moore said Okotoks has been struggling with water issues for long enough and the Town needs to come up with a long-term plan.
“The water source needs to be rectified soon,” he said.
He doesn’t have a preference for one option over another. He said the Town should ensure whatever it chooses won’t hurt its reputation as a sustainable community.
“We have to look at the ones that are presently at the forefront right now and obviously we have to look at the cost of each and the long-term ramifications of which one we would choose,” he said.
As Okotoks prepares to begin annexation discussions with the MD of Foothills, Moore said the Town needs enough to annex land to protect growth corridors well into the future.
He also questions why the Town continues to oppose the Wind Walk development. He said the development’s green plans would fit with Okotoks’ sustainable track record.
“Are they appealing because they don’t want it here because we don’t have enough water or it’s not going to be on our land and we’re not going to be able to draw tax revenues from it?” said Moore.