Micheal Starner was born and raised in Medicine Hat and hopes to inspire the young population as the city’s mayor.
Starner works seasonally as a professional Santa Claus every Christmas.
“I’m my own business, Santa Mike, and I do that every year for the past six years and hopefully for years to come,” said Starner. “I go to many homes and businesses around town, old folks homes, care centres, anywhere and everywhere that they would like to hire me.”
Starner also works as a labourer at LaFarge, where he breaks up ice and cement.
The mayoral candidate hopes to be able to bring back the Medicine Hat water slides and also hopes to install a wheelchair park in the city.
“I’d like to reopen some recreational facilities, like some of the indoor swimming pools and outdoor swimming pools that have been closed down, the ice rinks, etcetera,” he said.
Starner also wants to create a program to have the homeless population clean up the city, and says it’s the first thing he would do if elected.
“It would be a three-month program so we can help get them on their feet again. I’d like to get them a $100 welcome bonus so they can get a haircut and lunches for the week,” Starner explained. “Then for three months, they’ll be working in the city, cleaning up garbage and whatever else the city would need help with and it’s appropriate for them to do.”
Starner envisions cleaner parks in Medicine Hat.
“I’d like to, in a way, scrap natural restoration … I’d just like to get things looking nice and green and clean,” said Starner. “There are people around my age that are never given the benefit of the doubt. I’d like to be the voice for people my age to get out and be involved.
“Whether I make it into office or not, I just want to show people my age that they can do something if they put their heart and mind to it.”
LAUREN THOMSON, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News