Rocky View councillors hope election brings unity
Large-scale developments scrutinized by some residents in the past
Some councillors in Rocky View County are hoping the election results spark a new era of co-operation after years of lengthy debates over developments in the area.
- Medicine Hat, Nanton, Claresholm elect new mayors
- Development a big issue in Rocky View County election
Jerry Arshinoff, one of two new faces on council, says it has often been divided.
Unofficial Election Results
Division 1: Liz Breakey
Division 2: Jerry Arshinoff
Division 3: Margaret Bahcheli
Division 4: Rolly Ashdown
Division 5: Earl Solberg
Division 6: Greg Boehlke
Division 7: Lois Habberfield
Division 8: Al Sacuta
Division 9: Bruce Kendall
"There are five councillors primarily on the eastern half who have essentially bullied the western half by outvoting them five to four," he said.
He says those contentious votes related to development proposals, such as the Bingham Crossing shopping centre.
Two Rocky View districts — divisions 4 and 7 — came down to fewer than 40 votes for the incumbents. One of those areas has plans for a new mega-mall near Cross Iron Mills, which has prompted transit concerns.
Al Sacuta, who was re-elected Monday in Bearspaw, says close races for incumbents should send a clear message.
"I think its been obvious to people for some time that there's this five-four split or there's a major bifurcation in how the county runs. And I think people are trying to tell us we don't want it to be broken. We want you to figure out how to fix it."
He thinks the development issue is kind of the big elephant in the room.
"It really is, and it's not pro- or anti-development," said Sacuta. "It really isn't. It's what is the appropriate development in the right place that makes sure that it's viable and it's ecologically responsible and it's responsible to our taxpayers."
But Rolly Ashdown, who was reeve at the time and was re-elected in Division 4, says it's not quite that black and white.
"There's definitely an idea of different thoughts and different values and different things people look for, but I don't think its necessarily divided by east or west."
The new council should get a sense of just how well members will get along later this week when they get together for the first time post-election.
Rocky View County's news council will be sworn in Oct. 29.