Current Division 8 representative Samanntha Wright has announced she will run for another term as Rocky View County Councilor (RVC)
Current Division 8 representative Samanntha Wright has announced that she will seek another term as Rocky View County Councilor (RVC).
Wright’s announcement also means that the three previously sanctioned advisers have decided to stand for re-election. She said the support of her constituents had been a major driver of her decision to campaign for another term.
“This is probably the main reason I put my hat on in the ring – the confidence of the electorate,” she said. “It’s one thing to think you can do a good job, it’s a whole different story when you have the support of the community.
Wright will race to take the seat of the newly formed Division 4, where she will face newcomer Roc Spence and current Warden Daniel Henn.
“I looked at who was racing in Division 4 and in my opinion it’s more the same old, the same old,” she said. “I believe residents need a choice, and we all know they will be making those choices known at the polls. I believe there is hope for change.
While Wright was among the three councilors sanctioned, she also had to take court action against the county, which sued her for alleged pecuniary interest and non-payment of taxes. The case was finally dismissed this year.
For the most part, that would be enough to end politics. For Wright, she said she knew the job wouldn’t be easy from the get-go.
“You can see from the last campaign how much the ‘develop at any cost’ types have chased me,” she said. “There were mud blasts, but they knew I would be a loud voice that put residents first. I will never give up on this.
Considering the past four very eventful years on the board, filled with ups and downs, infighting and legal battles, Wright said she has learned to deal with different personalities and get a message across in different ways.
She added that attending and navigating board meetings is just one aspect of the job.
“The greatest pleasure for me are the residents,” she said. “You see a different problem each time. One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that you can’t always fix everything, but I find people enjoy it when you listen to them and take the time to get things done.
Regarding electoral matters in Division 8, Wright said it would be important to have a policy in place to better help the constant struggle that involves gravel applications in RVC. While she says everyone recognizes the need for gravel, it’s about locating the resource appropriately.
“Residents just need to be assured that they will be protected, and the industry needs to know where they can and cannot operate,” she said. “Some definitive gravel policies would be essential moving forward.”
Also, Wright said, with the downturn in Alberta’s economy, there has been a big shift towards agribusiness. She said she would like the county to put more emphasis on programs and initiatives for producers and farm businesses.
While there are a number of important issues to discuss in this municipal election, Wright said it will be crucial for the board to find a better way to deal with the Calgary Metropolitan Regional Board (CMRB), including the Regional growth strategy is something that the county has been a vocal opponent of.
“I believe we need a strong voice, but at the same time we have to show that we can play well in the sandbox,” she said. “I believe we can collaborate and cooperate without being a doormat, although it will take some work to undo our reputation.”
Given the sanctions and legal battles she went through in the last term, Wright said she could have resigned multiple times, but did not.
“I see the tide changing and I see more residents getting involved and seeing what’s going on in the county,” she said. “It would be really nice if everyone went out to vote and were informed about the issues that affect them the most. “
For more information on Wright’s campaign, visit wrightforrockyview.com
At the time of going to press, 16 candidates are running for RVC’s board, including eight incumbents. Wright’s campaign announcement means that the only current member who will not run for another term is the Division 1 board. Marc Kamachi.
The election is scheduled to take place on October 18.
Jordan Striker, AirdrieToday.com
Follow me on twitter @Jay_Strickz