The young politician, backed by her campaign manager, Alison Dewling and with six people on her campaign team, Amy Warnke handily won the mayoralty race against four other candidates. “I was voted in as the mayor of the Norwood School for a year,” stated Amy with a great deal of pride, “and I got 31 of the 92 votes. Being elected as mayor means a lot to me because I’ve wanted to do it since Grade 4 and achieving that goal is amazing.”
Each year Norwood School hosts an annual election for the mayor of the school. The successful candidate is invited to attend a City of Wetaskiwin city council meeting and present his/her platform.
Proudly and confidently sitting in Mayor Bill Elliot’s chair in council chambers on June 15, Amy proceeded to present her campaign speech to council, spectators and guests. “The experience was really cool, I was nervous at first, but when I got up there it was fine. I visited the courthouse (now city hall) on a Grade 4 field trip, so it was really cool to go back and say a speech.”
Her “platform” focused on three areas she claimed she would like to change if elected; the environment, safety and pet fostering program. “I felt the environment part of my platform was the most important because I care so much for the environment.”
“First the environment. I think that the environment needs more attention. Recently at our local McDonalds, trees were cut down. The trees blocked the wind, snow and rain making it easier for customers to place their order, pay, and then get their food. Cutting down trees in the city also occurs in other places but, McDonald’s caught my attention. I could understand that those trees may have been cut down because of disease, or if they were unsafe but I think that they were cut down to make the fast food place more visible and it took away some of the beauty in our city.”
Amy had two other key suggestions on how to help the environment. “Another idea to make our city greener is the blue bag program. In other areas around our community the blue bag program is already in use. The blue bag program recycles bottles, plastic and other recyclables together by putting them in a special blue bag next to your garbage can and it is picked up from your house.” She advised that recycling one glass bottle can save enough energy to light a 100-watt light bulb for four hours and it would take 1 million years for that bottle to break down in the landfill.
She would also like to see a school garden. “Seeds could be donated to the school and interested students can garden and help the plants grow. The vegetables could be used in the cooking class. If a student doesn’t have a lunch or snack, they can head to the garden.”
The second item on her platform was safety. “I know safety is important and I think we need more of it at our skate park.” She made suggestions on how to improve safety and ways to implement them. Some ideas included security cameras, user schedule that would separate older and younger kids, police patrol the park more often and more lights. “If we choose security cameras we would set up a fund raiser to buy the equipment instead of making taxes higher.”
Amy’s last topic was the pet fostering program. “People could volunteer to look after the animal in need of a home until their forever home is found. You would also have the option to adopt the animal yourself. Foster families would get a discount on pet food, toys and a bed. Foster families are volunteering so there would not be an extra cost to the City.” She suggested the program would be good for the foster family because they may be inspired to get a pet of their own after experiencing the fun a pet can provide. “The animals would be much happier in homes with people. The shelter would save money to get better equipment, save more animals and not be as crowded.”