The race is on; now it’s up to all of us to vote

Congratulations to those exuberant men and women who have shown the willingness and enthusiasm to represent their community

Congratulations to those exuberant men and women who have shown the willingness and enthusiasm to represent their community and districts by seeking a position on the municipal councils of the Town of Ponoka, Ponoka County and school boards for the next four years.

Interest for this 2013 Alberta municipal election campaign, which will end on Monday, Oct. 21 , has been extremely high throughout the province, with many vital future issues and plans to maintain or establish, and a record number of candidates vying for the mayor and council member seats that are up for grabs on all fronts.

In the exciting race for a seat on our next Ponoka town council are: Lonny Behm, Tim Falkiner, Sandra Lyon, David McPherson, Carla Prediger, Craig Saunders, Teri Underhill, Marc Yaworski and incumbent Loanna Gulka; while former Councillors Rick Bonnett and Doug Gill will square off in the race for the mayor’s chair.

Out in the rapidly expanding Ponoka County those campaigning to represent one of the five divisions are: Tom Griffiths, Bryce Liddle and Gordon Svenningsen in division 1; Jerry Bonnett, Curtis Emes, Lorie Jess, Mark Matejka, and incumbent Gawney Hinkley in a red hot division 2 race; Doug Weir and incumbent George Verheire seeking the division 3 seat; Roland Grutterink and incumbent Paul McLauchlin contesting the division 4 spot; and Nancy Hartford being acclaimed to council in division 5.

Two of the five school trustee wards to be contested in this election will feature: Pamela Hansen, Peter Sutherland, and incumbent Karin Engen for ward 4 (Eckville/Bentley); and Jancee Hawthorne, Wayne Tutty, Donna Anderson and incumbents Bob Huff and Barb Walker contesting for the seat in ward 5 of Lacombe and Blackfalds. Lorrie Jess has been acclaimed in ward 2 (Ponoka); Donna Peterson in ward 1 (Alix/Mecca Glen/Satinwood); Trudy Bratland in ward 3 (Rimbey/Bluffton/Crestomere); and Dan Svitich as the catholic school board trustee for ward 1 Ponoka. Good luck to everyone for an exciting and successful campaign, and for your zest and desire to enter the political arena in our vibrant Province.

Now it’s our turn to do our part

Right now all these candidates are out on the campaign trail knocking on doors, passing out their brochures and sharing their opinions, putting up their signs and answering lots of questions at local forums and coffee shops. It is now up to all of us as citizens and taxpayers of the Ponoka area to join in on this vitally important election process by making an effort to attend the lively forums, chatting with the candidates and really getting involved over the next few weeks before making our most important choice as to who we would like to lead our town and county for the next four years.

In the past few municipal elections the voter turnouts have been very low, ranging from 20 to 50 per cent of the eligible voters, which is awful. We all need to realize if we don’t devote just a little bit of our time to get out and exercise our right to vote and participate in this next election, we will have little reason to complain or maybe even don’t really care about what happens in the most vital growth and future of our communities.

Advance polls have been set for Oct. 9 and 16 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Ponoka Town Hall; while the institutional vote has been set for: Oct. 17 from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Ponoka Auxiliary Hospital, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at the Golden Leisure Lodge, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at Sunrise Village, and from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Northcott Care Centre. An advance poll for divisions 1, 2 and 3 of Ponoka County will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Ponoka County administration building at 4205 Highway 2A Ponoka.

Enough said. This exciting fall election frenzy is now in our hands and we can show confidence and appreciation to these candidates who wish to have the opportunity of representing and working for us by casting our ballot, our choice, on Monday, Oct. 21 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Ponoka Kinsmen Community Centre or at designated polling stations throughout Ponoka County.

Thank you for making a difference with your keen participation, and have a great week, all of you.

— Hammertime