Another candidate has declared her intention to seek election in Rocky View County’s Division 3.
Margaret Bahcheli, a resident of Elbow Valley, has lived at the western edge of Calgary for 15 years.
“We have been integrated into the Springbank area,” said Bahcheli, of her family.
“I know the issues and definitely…have been drawn into attending as many meetings as I can get to.”
Current councillor Gordon Branson’s imminent retirement motivated Bahcheli to run for council.
“Gordon Branson tried very hard to represent the community,” said Bahcheli. “No one wants to see that void created where we aren’t having our voice heard. There is obviously some issue at council with getting that voice considered, but at least we had one.”
Bahcheli, a lawyer and financial analyst, said she is passionate about her community, and is adamant about preserving it.
“I have to say that Springbank has what I believe is an iconic beauty, and we are in a very enviable position of creating a unique living experience that incorporates modern development concepts,” said Bahcheli.
Rocky View’s Growth Management Strategy (GMS) needs to be revisited, she added.
“We can have development but it has to fit certain criteria,” said Bahcheli. “What has been happening is we are having projects coming before council for final approval that aren’t meeting minimum development standards. It is wasting council and residents’ time and resources.”
According to Bahcheli, the County should consider there are no easy solutions for water and sewer in the Springbank area.
“We have to respect the physical limitations of the land we are dealing with,” said Bahcheli.
“The GMS as it currently stands, I question the affordability of it.”
Bahcheli is also concerned about the County’s debt load, which she says was mostly incurred in the construction of CrossIron Mills mall.
“I am quite concerned, because the GMS is proposing more than a dozen of these projects,” said Bahcheli.
If elected, Bahcheli said she would pursue the formation of a finance committee, which would enable better transparency to help in making decisions about future developments.
“Springbank is a community of very sophisticated experts and business people,” said Bahcheli.
“These people can handle detail. It is time to start getting that detail.”
According to Bahcheli, the community should not be responsible for financing developments. Rather, tax money should be spent serving the community’s needs.
Bahcheli said, if elected, she would work hard at listening and responding to residents’ needs.
“I firmly believe in listening to people, because I respect the quality of expertise that is resident in the area,” said Bahcheli.
“It is very impressive.”
Bahcheli said she would also work hard to come up with a solution for large property owners, such as farmers, who don’t want to be hemmed in by long-term growth plans.
“I believe Springbank is a unique community that could have world class development,” said Bahcheli.
“If we aren’t getting world-wide recognition for the choices we made 10 or 15 years down the road, then we are really missing an opportunity.”