Candidate seeks to create a more diverse city council

·2 min read

Shila Sharps, born in Medicine Hat, says diversity of opinions and experience is what’s needed on the new city council, and hopes Hatters will consider her as a councillor.

Sharps has spent her career in human resources, working in the U.K. and then for a U.S. company out of Medicine Hat where she was promoted to director of HR. She wrote her federal government exam and is now an immigration consultant. Sharps owns Sharp Immigration Solutions and HR Solutions in Medicine Hat.

Sharps wants the city to be more specific in its goal of being financially fit.

“What I don’t see when we talk about financially fit is an actual scorecard … ‘we want to reduce expenses in this department by 5% by this time,'” Sharps said. “Let’s quit talking about it, let’s do it and show it.”

Sharps believes diversity is an important aspect to consider when voting in the new council.

“Diversity is about hiring different people with different experiences and backgrounds, because when you can get 15 different people at a table that have different experiences and backgrounds, you have a much higher likelihood of having a successful conversation and different viewpoints,” said Sharps.

Sharps does not support closing River Road for the Waterfront project, and wants to focus on fixing up what is currently downtown and generating income.

“I’m a big believer in economic development, but I don’t believe we should have one department that says yea or nay,” said Sharps. “Everything needs to come in front of city council; the problem we’re having is that Invest Medicine Hat’s got final say on everything.”

Sharps also hopes the city can focus on mental health.

“I’m hoping to install some team building for the council and show them that it’s OK to have different personalities,” said Sharps. “I want to teach them how to work together and how to disagree, but how to do that in a respectful manner.

“I believe I’m the right woman for the job because I think it’s time to expect something different and get different results. If you want change, let’s get change.”

LAUREN THOMSON, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News

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