Wetaskiwin – Is it a high stakes game or a sure bet? Whatever it is, will mayoral candidate Mark McFaul be on the rise or Mark on the Faul ….and there is no in-between. Alderman Mark McFaul has put his bet down and ‘is all in’. He has declared he is playing the game to the end, whatever the outcome might be. Over the past 7 years while serving on City Council, McFaul has had plenty of time to look upward at the Chair Mayor Bill Elliot currently occupies. But he is confident that after October 23rd, the electors will have him sitting in front of a new gold colored nameplate sporting, Mayor Mark McFaul.
Candidates for Mayor have to come into the race with that level of confidence. McFaul could have run for 1 of the 6 Aldermen seats but instead chose to put all the eggs in one basket with the aspiration that he will make his way up from his present chair in City Council to the upper level. If he has miscalculated, there is no second chance for at least for another 4 years, as that is the new term of office for municipal elected officials. It’s Mayor or nothing for the candidates.
On Tuesday, August 27th at noon, the campaign office for Mayoral hopeful McFaul, was officially opened on the corner 50th and 50th across from the Royal Bank in the former video store location. Large yellow and black campaign posters announced his campaign theme; ‘A New Vision/Mark for Mayor/Common Sense solutions for Wetaskiwin’.
Mark addressed the crowd by stating, “I am here today to announce that I will be seeking the position of Mayor for the City of Wetaskiwin”. He continued on to proclaim statements like, “We cannot allow this overspending to continue; Wetaskiwin`s debt will soon be in excess of 30 million dollars; I remain opposed to the pending 2014 tax increase; City Hall does not have a revenue problem, City Hall has a spending problem.”
Mark, a 50 year resident of Wetaskiwin, has served 2 terms as Alderman since 2007. He was adamant that, “It’s enough already – enough taxes, enough out of control spending, enough potholes, enough secrecy, enough bureaucracy and enough red tape”.
Also sharing the McFaul campaign headquarters are Alderman Joe Branco seeking re-election and Jason Wright who was unsuccessful in his bid for an Alderman seat in the 2010 election. Both are seeking election as Alderman because of their concern about the (mis) management of the City of Wetaskiwin.
A glance back at the 2010 elections
In 2010 four candidates ran for the Mayor’s chair; Theresa Fuller, Brian Hockin, Don Montgomery and Bill Elliot. Mayor Bill Elliot won the race with 1166 votes followed by Brian Hockin 970, Theresa Fuller 711 and Don Montgomery with 402. Jo Branco topped the list of Aldermen with 2033 votes. Also elected were Dale Crabtree , Patricia MacQuarrie , Glenn Ruecker, Barry Hawkes and Mark McFaul. There were 200 chairs set up and still people were standing at the candidates forum hosted by the Chamber of Commerce in the Wetaskiwin Memorial Centre on September 30th, 2010. Each of the 4 candidates for Mayor and 11 candidates for Alderman were provided an equal opportunity to present their platforms, respond to questions and provide a summary.
How will you carry out your promise
Three years later, many of the promises of 2010 have not evolved. But, 3 years later a new race is on with some new players. Again, many new promises will be made and many of those promises will not be kept. After covering City Council and City events for the past 3 years my questions to the candidates leading up to Election Day on October 21st will not be, “what do you promise” but rather “how will you carry out that promise”. Watch future editions of the Pipestone flyer for coverage of the Wetaskiwin City Council Municipal Election race.