South Peace News
A byelection in the Town of McLennan to fill a vacant councillor seat has not yet been postponed over the worldwide coronavirus [COVID-19] pandemic.
McLennan voters are scheduled to go to the polls April 20.
“We’re still going ahead with that date at this point,” says returning officer and CAO Lorraine Willier, March 18.
“When we get closer to the byelection date, we will decide what to do.”
Watch for an update on the town’s website at www.mclennan.ca or phone  324-3065.
Terry Calliou, former councillor Margaret Jacob and former town CAO Tammy Stout are running for the seat.
A brighter future for McLennan is the main vision for the three candidates.
Terry Calliou is seeking the seat to help revive the community.
“I want to contribute to the growth and revitalizing the Town of McLennan,” says Calliou, a resident of the community for 10 years.
“My three main concerns are the decline in businesses in town, the decline in population and high property taxes in town,” Calliou says.
He also wants to know why people and families move into McLennan and build on that.
Calliou says the town needs to move forward in a planned way.
“I want council to review and examine the Town of McLennan’s economic development vision and long-term goals,” Calliou says.
He says he has the experience and contacts to help the town move forward.
“I bring a vast experience in dealing with industry and corporations by working closely with the community for the best interests of both parties,” says Calliou, an independent First Nation Aboriginal consultant.
A councillor for Sucker Creek First Nation for eight years, Calliou has experience dealing with provincial and federal government and departments, MLAs and MPs.
Calliou has served locally as the president of the McLennan Regional Golf Society currently and in the past.
He also previously chaired the Grouard Community Education Committee for Northern Lakes College for six years.
Margaret Jacob wants to return to council to help shape a renewed vision.
“We need a strategic plan developed through involvement of all our citizens, to highlight the vision of what our community could look like,” says Jacob, who served as councillor from 2010-17.
Taxes, and funding from the Alberta government barely cover the basic, day-to-day operations, she says.
“Consequently, funding for any improvements for our recreational and social services must come through our volunteers’ fundraising and grant applications.”
The town can thrive, she says.
“McLennan is a vibrant, active community that is supported by a wide range of organizations of dedicated volunteers who are working diligently to maintain and promote our lifestyle,” Jacob says.
“The potential to grow our town through these is large,” Jacob says.
She suggests town administration could be instrumental to apply for funding for growth.
Recently retired, she can commit more to help the community grow.
“I have more time to devote towards seeing this vision through,” Jacob says.
“However, the input, co-operation and co-ordination of the town administration is essential.”
She has been active in the town for many years.
“Having been on town council for seven years, and involved in many organizations since moving here in 2005, I appreciate the difficulties inherent in trying to accomplish these objectives but they are feasible,” Jacob says.
Tammy Stout is ready to help bring more pride into the community.
“I am running to help council make decisions, bring concerns forward from our residents and make those tough decisions that make us all proud to be from McLennan,” Stout says.
“I am one person with a strong voice who is willing to sacrifice my personal time to come and assist the current council.”
A former CAO for McLennan, she says her experience would be valuable on council.
“I understand the concept of how taxes are calculated, and how the budget is made,” Stout says.
“Those sometimes-tough decision needed to balance our budget or increase or decrease our taxes are decisions I am willing to make.
“I understand what council can and cannot do.”
Stout has been a longtime McLennan resident, currently employed at Tolko Industries in High Prairie.
“It is good to see that there is interest by others wanting to serve on council and be a part of an exceptional team of people who are strictly here for the same reasons I am,” Stout says.
“I am not afraid to tell it like it is.”
She says she is dedicated to help the community.
“This is not just a position, but it is a commitment that I give to the residents that I will be your voice in taking concerns to council,” Stout says.