Incumbents fall in Foothills election
Election 2013: Newcomers Deliliah Miller, Jason Parker and Rick Percifield win
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 23, 2013 09:23 am
2013 MD of Foothills Election results
Rick Percifield, 251
Shirley Pickering, 163
Colin Woodley, 141
Delilah Miller, 305
Doug Longson, 258
Jason Parker, 371
Barb Castell, 220
Ron Chase, 332
Brian Saltman, 138
There will be some new faces on Foothills MD council as two incumbents were ousted in Monday’s municipal election.
In Division 2 incumbent Doug Longson was defeated by challenger Delilah Miller 305 votes to 258 and in Division 3 Jason Parker upset incumbent Barb Castell 371 to 220.
The lone incumbent to survive the election was Ron Chase in Division 5 where easily returned to council defeating challenger Brian Saltman 332 to 138.
In Division 1 Rick Percifield will replace retiring councillor Ralph Nelson as he had 251 votes compared to 163 for Shirley Pickering and 141 for Colin Woodley.
For Miller the win was especially sweet as she lost the election to Longson in 2010 by just six votes. Miller said she had a strong campaign team this time around and it helped her to the victory.
“I feel we had a strategy, a solid campaign that connected with the residents,” said Miller on Monday. “We were really organized and we had some key supporters in the community who helped get the vote out.”
Miller, a real estate agent, said there are some key issues which need to be addressed in her division including road repairs and working with High River on flood mitigation around the Highwood River.
She said she is ready to get to work.
“I want to than the voters for their confidence in me and I will be an accessible councillor residents feel they can come to.”
In what was a bit of a surprise, newcomer Jason Parker ousted two-term councillor Barb Castell.
Castell said she did not take the election for granted, but was upset with the results.
“It is disappointing,” she said on Monday night. “But I never thought I was a shoe-in.”
Regardless, she said she will stay involved in the community in some capacity.
“I’ll get over it,” she said. “I am not one to sit around.”
Taking over from Castell is Parker, a first-time councillor who said he is eager to get to work.
“I am really excited and I am really looking forward to try and make an impact and be a great voice for the residents,” he said.
Knowing he was challenging a strong incumbent, Parker said he worked extremely hard during the campaign to get out and meet the residents in Division 5.
“I tried to cover all my bases,” said Parker. “We did a lot of meet-and-greets and I had great support from my family and people in the community. There were so many good people in the community who had my back.”
Voters in Division 1 have replaced a well-known name with another one at the council table.
Longtime Blackie-area farmer Richard Percifield was elected as the new councillor winning Monday’s municipal election over Pickering and Woodley.
Percifield replaces Ralph Nelson who had the seat since 2004.
“Ralph has done a great job and if he would have ran, I wouldn’t even of thought of running,” Percifield said. “But I also think it is important that we continue to have an agriculture voice in there.”
Percifield’s family settled in the Blackie area farm in 1948 and Richard was raised in the MD of Foothills. He said his division faces unprecedented issues as a result of the June 20 flood.
“Definitely we have to work on flood mitigation and hopefully flood prevention,” Percifield said. “That would be the immediate problem we have to face.”
He also wants to insure agricultural land in his division is protected.
“We have to be aware of the people moving out of Calgary into the area,” he said. “We don’t want to take up to much farmland with acreages. We do need development, but we need responsible development.”
Pickering said she knew she had an uphill battle against Percifield.
“I am disappointed, but I knew there has been traditional voting to support well-established farm representatives and that was not changed,” Pickering said.
Pickering said fortunately she and Percifield were fighting for many of the same issues.
“We both wanted to make sure that agricultural land was not lost — agriculture is an important part of this division,” she said. “We were both concerned about flood mitigation and how flood is managed. We wanted to make sure the rural community was involved as well.”
Pickering is chairperson of the Highwood and Sheep River Water Management Plan Advisory committees.
Woodley said he learned a thing or two at the election.
“I learned that what people say at the door isn’t necessary how they are going to vote,” he said with a laugh. “But (I am) 100 per cent behind Rick Percifield and his win and will back him all the way.”
Woodley said he may have been hurt by his support of the BFI landfill.
“It is entirely possible, but I wasn’t going to hide behind it,” he said. “I am all about economic development in these small hamlets.”
Coun. Ron Chase will be returning to council for a sixth term and he is anxious to complete some of the projects he started including negotiations regarding the Calgary Metropolitan Plan and the Calgary Regional Partnership.
“I must admit I am extremely elated (to be re-elected),” said Chase. “This gives me the opportunity to get things done. It is a wonderful compliment from the residents to take the bull by the horns and do the job.”
Chase said he hopes he can act as a mentor to the new members of the MD council and he is eager to work with the new councils in the area to develop new partnerships.