These past four years have been an eye-opener for Ponoka County Coun. Bryce Liddle. So much so that he is running for a second term.
Liddle announced earlier this month that he’s running for re-election as Ponoka County division councillor.
“I really enjoyed the first four years and it seemed like a no brainer,” he said.
“We have got a very good council to go along with some really good leadership in our administration. So to me, it was like these four years went by in a flash so why not go for another four years?”
For Liddle, the entire journey as a first-time councillor was a positive experience and he also enjoyed being able to deal directly with the residents in his area.
That said, he learned a big lesson right off the hop, one that he tries to use whenever a decision needs to be made.
“The first thing I learned was to not think you are any smarter or better now than you were prior to being elected,” he stated.
“The reason I was elected was to represent the people and their concerns in order to bring them to the rest of Ponoka County. To do that, as a councillor, you need to stay out of the weeds and let the people who are paid to do those kinds of jobs be able to do their job.
“Never get too involved in the day-to-day operations, leave that job to those people. There isn’t a lot of stuff to do as a councillor that you can have an affect on. You just have to make decisions based on what you feel is best for the community and try to keep at least some people happy.”
One other lesson learned involves not getting into a battle over an issue.
“I also learned the best way to do things is discuss it rationally. As a council, we have differences and not always do we agree,” he explained.
“But we talk it through and gain a consensus or compromise that will be the best for the county. One of us may not like the way it went, but in the end we find the best route forward. Not going out later and saying they hated the idea but went along with the rest because they had to.”
As for any regrets or changes he wished had been done during this past term, Liddle feels there isn’t anything big that he would have done differently.
A positive accomplishment he feels was made this term is the county’s ability to provide some financial assistance to various groups.
“That ability to give and help local groups, clubs and non-profits was great,” he said.
“It’s the little things — like some of the renovations to the area community halls, the paving of Menaik (Road) and areas out west and rebuilding of some bridges — that have been a great benefit to the community and keep things going. That’s what I’m most proud of.”
If Liddle is re-elected, he wants the county to become less reliant on taxes from oil and gas. Instead, he would like to see more work done on attracting businesses to the region.
“I would like to see us try and develop business and industry that can help us make that change, so we don’t have to lean on oil and gas like Alberta has for a long time,” he stated.
“I want the county to concentrate on developing business in areas that make sense and following a plan like at Highway 2 and 53 and along that corridor.”
He added the recent Highway 2 study will also put people’s minds at ease, knowing what is planned and where, instead of the current leap-frogging method of development.
In announcing his candidacy, Liddle joins the two Rimbey area councillors Nancy Hartford and Paul McLauchlin as confirmed to be running for re-election on Oct. 16.