As the new Strathmore town council have now been sworn into their stations, new faces to the team have expressed nervous excitement to get started.
For Brent Wiley, Debbie Mitzner, Richard Wegener and Melissa Langmaid, it will be their first time serving on council for Strathmore. Only Mayor Pat Fule and councilors Jason Montgomery and Denise Peterson have returned to continue their public service.
“It’s such a good team. I think everyone in town can rest assured there’s a really devoted bunch of councilors here (who) are just ready to serve,” said Wiley.
For each of the new councilors, though their reasons for wanting to be on council differ, ultimately the common goal is to make Strathmore a better place to live and work.
“It’s been on my to-do list since I worked for the Town of Strathmore when I was 20 years old … I’m getting to be a senior, I believe in Strathmore, it’s a good place to live and I want to make it a better place,” said Mitzner.
“I felt a sense of duty and (that) it was time to serve. I’ve been in this town for 17 years. I just love it and I’ve been attracted to politics my whole life,” added Wiley.
Goals between the new councilors include further developing residence for seniors, maintaining a post-secondary presence in Strathmore, researching the process to become a city and looking into the construction of a new twin arena.
Regarding their collective lack of experience in their new roles, each of them feels like they’ve hit the ground running and will be learning the ropes quickly, so to speak.
“I’m feeling better now, we had a bit of an orientation regarding the Alberta Government Act. I’m feeling quite a bit better now than I was maybe a week ago,” said Wegener.
“How the process works was the biggest thing I was nervous about and I guess anything that’s out of my wheelhouse or my comfort zone there’s always some nervous anxiety there.”
“I think that (this is) one of those things that you don’t realize how much you don’t know until you’re doing it. Then you realize there’s a lot of learning, so there’s a major learning curve,” said Wiley.
Despite any anxiety about the job, each councilor is confident they bring something to the table and will be an asset to the team.
“I’m a people person, so I’m thinking a lot of being a councilor is working well in relationships – with people in town, with other councilors, with the mayor, with the CAO. I think that’s something I bring (to the table),” said Wiley.
“(I’m bringing) a new vision. Some of these people have been trying different things for nine years. A new council is good (and) we appreciate the old council’s knowledge to share with us and to bring us forward,” said Mitzner.
The first regular council meeting was held on Nov. 3, following the new council’s orientation the week prior.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times