The countdown is on for a byelection in Crossfield. On Oct. 19, voters will elect two candidates to fill the vacancies left by Liz Grace and Beth Gabriel, who resigned from Town council in June.
Before resigning, Grace and Gabriel cited a “toxic and dysfunctional” relationship between council and the Town’s administration, as well as “code of conduct violations and endless infighting.”
Given these claims, we urge Crossfield residents to vote. It’s important voters study each candidate’s platform and qualifications. We have included profiles on three of the four candidates in this week’s Rocky View Weekly – Mike Perry could not be reached before press time – so reading this paper is a good starting point.
Our newsroom has received we have received multiple phone calls and emails pleading that we cover the political happenings in Crossfield. In recent months, we've strived to do so with increased fervour. Our reporters have seen how well attended some council meetings are and how gallery members often have sternly-worded questions for their elected officials and the municipality’s staff. It’s clear Crossfield residents care about their community.
Away from council chambers, Crossfield is continuing to go through some growing pains as the town’s population continues to increase. The Town is currently replacing aging infrastructure along its main road at a cost of millions of dollars, while an ongoing pilot project explores a new way to filter the community’s wastewater. Balancing this growth with fiscal responsibility will surely be an important issue in the byelection.
The timing of Crossfield’s byelection is, admittedly, awkward. With Alberta’s next municipal election slated for October 2021, whoever is elected next month will have only a year to make a positive impact in the community before voters return to the polls once again.
But even with a short mandate, whichever two candidates are elected will need to roll up their sleeves and get to work.