Economic development key issue for Longview
Election 2013: Seven vying for three positions on village council
By: John Barlow
| Posted: Friday, Oct 18, 2013 11:28 am
There is unprecedented interest in the Longview election this fall, but it is the village’s success, which has seven people running for three spots on council.
Seven residents will be vying for positions on Longview’s council including incumbents Carole Macleod and Clifford Ayrey. The newcomers include James Grady, Kathleen Wight, Lorraine Watson, Rick Smith and Rose Klassen. Mayor Ivor McCorquindale has elected not to run for re-election after nine years on council. The three members of council choose Longview’s mayor after the election.
According to two candidates vying for a spot on council promoting economic development in Longview is going to be the focus for the new council.
Rick Smith, who moved back to Longview in 2006 after retiring as general manager of Heritage Park in Calgary, said he has a real interest in the rural western lifestyle and promoting Longview’s economic vitality.
“I just think this village has a lot of potential to blossom,” said Smith. “Longview is a unique little gem at the based of the Rocky Mountains and with our location and services we have the opportunity to really go to the next level.”
Watson, also a new candidate in the Oct. 21 election, agreed saying the village has incredible potential and it will be up to the next council to guide the community to ensure it realizes that potential.
A small business owner, Watson said she has the experience and background to help Longview attract new business and economic development.
“There is huge potential for Longiew,” she said. “We are celebrating our 50th anniversary next year and this is a big opportunity to have Longview take the leap into the next 50 years.
“We want to make Longview a destination where people want to come to.”
The Village hosted a residents survey earlier this year and the number one issue for a majority of Longview homeowners was to promote economic development, to bring new business to the community.
As a business owner, Watson she has the skill set needed to attract new business to Longview.
“I am able to bring a balanced approach to envision the possibilities,” she said. “I want to dig a bit deeper and see how we can make this happen.”
Watson said she will listen to the ideas of residents and business owners to ensure multiple views are considered.
For Smith he said when you live in a small municipality you must do what you can to enhance your community, which is one of the reasons he is running for council.
He also mentioned the survey stating economic development was a key issue for residents.
“Residents want to see more emphasis on economic development, which has been pretty stagnant,” he said. “There has not been any real growth in the commercial sector.”
However, Smith said council must balance growth with maintaining the characteristics, which make Longview unique in the first place.
“We don’t want to be a big town,” he said. “That is part of the allure, but there is room to enhance our tax base.”
The other five candidates did not return calls to comment. The election will be held on Oct. 21.