Rocky View County (RVC) Reeve Daniel Henn is running for re-election in this year’s municipal election, set to take place on Oct. 18.
“Having learned a great deal and enjoying the last four years immensely, I thought I’d go for another kick at the can,” Henn said, when asked about his decision to run for another term.
The last municipal election in 2017 was a close one for the County’s current reeve, with Henn taking the Division 7 seat by just four votes over challenger Syd Hartley, following a recount.
After three years as a councillor, Henn was nominated for the position of reeve by his predecessor Coun. Greg Boehlke and appointed by his fellow councillors at RVC council’s 2020 annual organizational meeting last October.
In terms of his platform, Henn said if re-elected, he would work to ensure RVC gets a fair deal during negotiations with the Calgary Metropolitan Region Board (CMRB), which recently approved a regional growth plan despite opposition from the board’s rural members, including RVC. In a previous interview, Henn said the strategy was too urban-focused.
He said he also wants to work to improve the relationship between RVC and its neighbouring municipalities, such as Airdrie, Cochrane, Beiseker, Irricana and others.
Staying true to his roots, Henn said he plans to be an advocate for the agriculture community if he once again is chosen to sit as the representative for the newly formed Division 4, which includes communities such as Madden and Bottrel. He said his intimate knowledge of the industry will be essential to helping other members of council understand how much the ag community supports the region, as well as how ag producers need the support of the County in order to do so.
"We’ve got a great council – a bunch of very smart people – but there’s very few that get their hands into the dirt, plant seed in the ground, feed cows, and have an intimate understanding of how agriculture works in Rocky View,” Henn said.
“I like to think I’ve got a real in-depth and personal take on [agriculture and farming] that really nobody else that I see at the table can bring to the County.”
While the current term has seen plenty of turmoil among RVC council members, Henn said lots of good work was still accomplished throughout the last term, such as progress toward recreational amenities in Langdon and servicing the west side of Balzac.
That said, he recognized that along with that success came plenty of drama and controversy, in the form of sanctions, Code of Conduct breeches and legal battles between councillors.
“One thing I’m not going to do is focus on the shenanigans that have gone on over the last four years,” he said. “I think both parties on both sides of that coin have learned a lot and – I think – are willing to move forward.
“I’m hoping to finish up my last year as a councillor and – especially as reeve – [try] to put that to bed so that the next council, whether I’m on it or not, doesn’t have to deal with that baggage.”
Henn said he doesn’t exclude himself from the aforementioned scenarios, and recognizes he too has learned a lot from the experience. He said he hopes the incoming term will be full of job creation, project approvals, agricultural advocacy and fewer lawsuits for members of council.
“I like working with people,” Henn said. “That’s the best part of the job – meeting new people and learning their names.”
Henn joins Couns. Jerry Gautreau, Kim McKylor, Greg Boehlke and Al Schule as incumbent councillors who are running for re-election this October. Other candidates, as of press time, include Jolene Airth for Division 3, Roc Spence for Division 4, Mark Jette for Division 5 and Jeremy Stinson for Division 6.