Think­ing of run­ning for coun­cil?

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE -

Of­fi­cer, and take part in prepa­ra­tion for meet­ings in or­der to make in­formed de­ci­sions.

Both Al­berta Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs and lo­cal mem­bers of coun­cil rec­om­mend prospec­tive nom­i­nees fa­mil­iar­ize them­selves with coun­cil agen­das and meet­ing min­utes, as well as talk to cur­rent mem­bers of coun­cil and the com­mu­nity at large.

“One of the things I like to see, and that I would rec­om­mend, is for peo­ple to have been in­volved in the com­mu­nity,” says coun­cil­lor Tom Zariski. “Be­fore you run for coun­cil it’s al­ways a good idea to be ac­tive in some of the not-for-profit or­ga­ni­za­tions in the com­mu­nity. Vol­un­teer­ing for var­i­ous dif­fer­ent things gives you an ap­pre­ci­a­tion for what’s go­ing on in the com­mu­nity and a knowl­edge base for how things work and what things cost.”

Coun­cil­lor Lisa Hansen-Zacharuk agrees that com­mu­nity net­work­ing and ad­min­is­tra­tive know-how is a leg up in a suc­cess­ful run.

“I know from my own per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence that be­ing en­gaged and just talk­ing to peo­ple was, to me, the most im­por­tant as­pect. You can put up lawn signs and de­bate, but if you don’t go out and meet peo­ple, your suc­cess rate is far less,” she said.

Cam­paign­ing for coun­cil in a town is far dif­fer­ent than com­pli­cated plat­forms in city elec­tions. A per­son’s net­work­ing abil­ity and es­tab­lished com­mu­nity con­nec­tions are of­ten enough to carry a can­di­date, but most of­ten nom­i­nees will also use sig­nage and lo­cal me­dia to ad­ver­tise their run.

“Just get out there, get talk­ing to peo­ple, get in­volved and al­ways be a part of the com­mu­nity. I feel peo­ple want some­one who is en­gaged and cares about the com­mu­nity, rather than some­one who is run­ning on their own ideals,” said Hansen-Zacharuk.

"One of the chal­lenges is, of course, to com­mu­ni­cate to the com­mu­nity where their money goes," said Zariski. "Prob­a­bly the big­gest thing for me was just get­ting up to speed on how the town is ba­si­cally funded."

“Every­body al­ways goes into coun­cil with their guns blaz­ing, think­ing they’re go­ing to make huge changes and they’re go­ing to get things done now. I think the big shock is how slow those changes ac­tu­ally take to be ac­com­plished, sim­ply be­cause there is so much leg­is­la­tion that you have to fol­low to im­ple­ment any­thing. It’s a long, some­times slow process,” said HansenZacharuk.

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