By Justin Seward
Redcliff incumbent mayor Dwight Kilpatrick will seek re-election in Alberta’s municipal election on Oct. 18.
Kilpatrick admits he had some hesitancy in running again because of the discussion between himself and his wife about retirement and what that would look like.
“If we did retire, we wanted to do a few things, and that would take away from my commitment to the town,” said Kilpatrick.
“Because I believe if you’re going to run, you should be committed to the town … I think the reason to run for mayor should be you want to contribute to the town and help out the town and make it a better place. I didn’t know if I’d be able to give it a full four-year commitment. But we did some more looking and thinking and our retirement is probably going to be pushed off some. So, I’m going to be here for the four years. That’s what made me finally say, ‘OK, fine I’ll put my name in.”
Kilpatrick believes his years of experience and years on council is an asset.
“We’ve been through a lot of different scenarios and it’s a wheel—it goes around and around,” he said.
“The same problems come up that we’ve handled in the past and I think experience helps with that.”
He doesn’t feel like he will change a lot of his ways if he was to be re-elected, as infrastructure and building the town’s capacity for future growth are important and looking into the economic development switch the town made as there has not been any movement yet due to COVID.
“What I’ve always wanted was to make sure that we’re getting the best use of our dollar and to keep our taxes low,” said Kilpatrick.
“And although you wouldn’t know it if you look on social media—if you actually go and research our mill rate versus Medicine Hat’s mill rate versus Lethbridge’s mill rate or other communities—our mill rate is lower. Our taxes are lower than our neighbours—not Cypress County because Cypress County pulls in $22 million worth of linear assessment. Our utilities are lower or comparable to our neighbours.”
He would like to work on the continuation of mental health supports during COVID.
“It has definitely deteriorated,” said Kilpatrick, on people’s mental health.
“The statistics show that all the time and I hope that our new and improved recreational facilities can help with some of that. You know, it gives something for the people to do—they can get out and they can do somethings—they can do it together as a family or with friends. And hopefully that can take some of the stresses off other parts of their lives.”
Redcliff saw a new skateboard park, tennis and pickleball park be built as well as swimming pool upgrades and ball diamond maintenance was all done within his last term to help with recreational opportunities.
He thinks the biggest hurdle will be to keep the level of service up and not raise taxes.
When Kilpatrick has attended functions this past term, he has thought of town council as a whole and a trend he hopes to continue.
“When I’ve been out and I’m representing Redcliff as a spokesperson, that’s how I always talk about it,” he said.
Kilpatrick will be up against current councillor Shawna Gale, former mayor Ernie Reimer and town resident Mark Payne for the mayor’s chair.
“Some people already have their minds made up,” said Kilpatrick.
“I’m not going to profess to say I know how and why people vote for who they vote for. I would hope that it would be because they were informed and knew what each person was running on. But I also know in election, a whole bunch of motherhood statements get said by everyone.”