Councillor Survey Question 1

What work experience do you have that’s relevant to the role of a Councillor and how do you feel the skills and perspective you have gained will help you in your role as a Councillor?

Janise Somer:

Please refer to my website for why I will be a good councillor.


Brenda Campbell:

I've taken economics courses and have worked in a bank but my time as school/youth counsellor has provided me with even more skills and perspective to help in the role as a Councillor. Specifically, and perhaps most importantly, the ability to listen to others and support their needs/where they're at and where they want to be is a skill I have that I feel would be especially valuable as a Councillor. I would listen to all Red Deerians and arrive together at solutions to situations that are brought to the forefront. I often use a solutions-focus approach to counselling and would do the same as a Councillor.


Bruce Buruma:

I have direct experience as Corporate Secretary and Director of Community Relations with Red Deer Schools working directly with the Superintendent and closely with our Board of Trustees. The Division has a $125 million budget and 1200+ students wervince 11,000 students and their families. My portfolio includes communications, strategy, advocacy, issues management and planning. I have also sat on the Board of Governors at Red Deer College, the AHS Health Advisory Council, the Board of Youth HQ and the Red Deer Community Foundation. My education includes Business Administration, Educations, Leadership, Public Relations Management and Government Relations


Kraymer Barnstable:

My background that will help me be an effective counsellor is the fact that I am a business owner. I have managed a budget and had up to 15 contractors working under me. Another very important part of my career is the many years I spent playing elite level hockey. This allowed me to learn how to work within a team system as well as being a leader when called upon. The discipline, sacrifice and dedication from being an athlete will also help me succeed if voted into office.


Victor Doerksen:

Many will remember my time as MLA for Red Deer South. During that tenure I held various roles: Chair of Alberta Research Council, Minister of Innovation and Science, Treasury Board. Other than government, significant roles for me include the Red Deer Hospice and Ten Thousand Villages Society Red Deer Boards; Executive Director of CARE; Director of Finance at Etana Supports Society; small business (insurance and retail); and banking. The only thing that proves is that I am familiar with multi-billion as well as small dollar organizations. My best qualification is that I show up, work hard, collaborate, and make decisions. Please also refer to my website for more information.


Dianne Wyntjes:

I bring experience to the Council decision table and up-to-date knowledge of the active files when the next Council will be making decisions. I’m ready to keep working and hit the ground running. I also bring experience and representation on numerous city committees along with knowledge of the community challenges and requests. I bring 30 years of labour relations experience with 17 years as regional director in Alberta. Those skills brought budget presentations, responsibility of 30+ staff at 7 offices throughout Alberta, working with elected boards and committees with governance understanding, experience and working through challenges, negotiation skills, strategic planning and listening to diverse range of opinions - throughout my former career and through my Council experience. I have experienced advocacy with provincial and federal government leaders. I have lived experience in Red Deer since 1975, seeing our city grow and change. Red Deer is my home for the many years ahead and I care about our city and community as we look to the future. I do my homework and am prepared for Council meetings and assigned committee meetings. I continue to take on-line courses and learning. One never stops learning in the Councillor role. For instance, this past year, through the Elected Officials education program, taking Regional Partnerships and Collaboration. On my own initiative: taking the University of Alberta/Native Studies - Indigenous Canada online course and Understanding Hate Crimes through Community Safety Citizen Services. I’m responsive to calls and emails and make myself available to meet with citizens, when they request. I’m active on social media but also recognize traditional methods of communicating with citizens, e.g. telephone and face-to-face. I have a few elderly citizens who do not subscribe to the Advocate nor are on line. They often call for an update of “what’s happening with City Council”. I do a lot of reading (besides the Council agendas) and I ask probing questions. I challenge my own initial thinking and always look to what’s best for the Red Deer community. Having vision and planing ahead for Red Deer is important. Council decisions are not just for the decisions during a 4 year council term; what’s decided today can impact Red Deer’s tomorrows and future e.g. ensuring Red Deer is on a future high-speed rail stop when high-speed comes to Alberta; regional waste to energy considerations through regional partnerships. I’m not afraid to admit I can be wrong and will revisit decisions, e.g. a zoning decision this past year when it bothered me and I supported reconsideration and we/Council chanted the decision. I work well with others.


Chad Krahn:

I have been actively involved in my community association and currently, serving as President of the association, working to build up our neighbourhood and advocating directly with the city. I have worked two years as the constituency manager for Red Deer-South, helping residents navigate their way around the provincial government and championing important local issues in Red Deer - like the hospital expansion, economic issues, and the development of a homeless shelter. I also bring the voice of a young father in a city loaded with young families, as well as willingness to listen and the aspiration to be a listen-first leader.


Ryan Laloge:

All of my work experience has been relevant, as a trades person my work has been closer to the services our City provides than most candidates and it includes being a self-employed tradesman with employees and making payroll to working in union environments.


Vesna Higham:

I’m a lawyer and appeal board adjudicator by profession – and what years of studying the law and serving on quasi-judicial boards have taught me is to come to decisions with an open mind amenable to persuasion. My training and analytical mind permit me to look at all angles of an issue, thoroughly exhausting all options and viewpoints, before making a decision. That weighing and balancing of competing interests/perspectives is so important, particularly when community issues are divisive and controversial. I also work hard and study diligently so that I understand what’s before Council on any issue. And I ask a lot of questions.


Cindy Jefferies:

I have years of governance experience. I have served our community as a member of council from 2004-2013. I was elected for a two year term (2010 -2012) as a mid-sized city director on the board of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association. From 1995-2004, I served as a trustee for Red Deer Public Schools, six of those years as board chair. It is beneficial to have a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of council and the mayor, especially in relation to the City Manager and city staff. I understand the role of policy and process. I have volunteered for many organizations in the community. Most recently, in 2015, I co-founded the Red Deer chapter of 100+ Women Who Care. Since its inception we have raised almost $500,000 for local charities. I have also volunteered for the Canada Winter Games as chair of the Games Services Committee, and for the freestyle ski event, I was also part of the bid committee work. I was appointed for a two year term as a community based director on the board of the Red Deer Primary Care Network. I have also volunteered for the Alberta Jubilee Auditoria Society, the United Way, Safe Harbour Society, Tools for Schools Africa Foundation, Red Deer Public Schools Foundation, Central Alberta Freestyle Ski Association and Canada Freestyle Ski. My contributions as a volunteer have given me perspective and understanding of issues in our community and the community building that comes through and from volunteerism.

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