While many probably didn’t expect Crossfield to have two byelections in the span of nine months, three candidates have thrown their hats in the ring for the May 10 trip to the polls, including Jean Gauthier.
“I believe I have the right attitude to give it my all both in the meetings and outside them,” Gauthier said, in a statement to the Rocky View Weekly. “I am committed to the position and in it for the long haul. I will commit the time to ensure action is taken in town where needed and wouldn't just fill a seat at meetings.”
Gauthier has lived in Crossfield for the last six years. He said he sees the area as his forever home, and he is ready to do what needs to be done to improve the municipality.
“Council is the backbone of our town,” he said. “Without a strong council, things start to fall apart. We need a council who is willing to work together, to make the decisions that need to be made, while also acknowledging the requests of our citizens and acting on them where appropriate.
“We need to ensure that the choices we as council make are for the greater good, and not just what the person with the loudest voice wants.”
As a father to young children, Gauthier said he wants to make Crossfield a place they see themselves staying in when they grow up.
In terms of what the Town’s priorities are, Gauthier said the downtown construction along Railway Street needs to be completed.
“[It’s an] eyesore and an inconvenience to citizens,” he said. “In most places downtown, you're unable to get from the parking spots directly to the businesses in front of them. You need to walk on the street around to the end of the block to get across. This may change by the time election day is here, but it's an important and urgent issue right now.”
Gauthier said some sidewalks outside of downtown are also far too narrow and often have obstructions which could leave citizens who are either pushing strollers, or in wheelchairs or scooters unable to pass.
“Plus, it's less likely people just want to get out and about in town if they can't even walk together,” Gauthier said.
He said he would also like to see dates set and advertised in advance for when the Banta Park spray park is set to open each year, and for any work necessary to open the amenity be done in advance.
Gauthier believes possessing the right attitude, the drive to provide commitment and the eagerness to see Crossfield improve are traits that would make him a good councillor.
“I am committed to seeing this great town become even greater through targeted improvements aimed at helping our citizens and attracting new ones,” he said. “I would [also] like to say good luck to Joanne [Cornelssen] and Mike [Knight] with their candidacies as well.”