Rookie candidate trying to strengthen community ties on council
A candidate in the upcoming Spruce Grove byelection says she's been listening to concerns from people in the city for years.
Sheri Ratsoy says over the last 12 months, that's inspired her to look to a new challenge.
"I definitely have never run before. In fact, if you would have said a year ago - 'hey, so next year when we're talking about your election campaign..' - I would have been like 'what? You're crazy,'" she said.
"But I just kind of got to a place where I had a different understanding as to what council is, what their role is in the community, and the part that I could start to play in that."
A pillar of her platform is expanding the scope of the city's poverty reduction plan, and she says a big focus needs to be on those with long-term disabilities, who live on fixed incomes.
"It's almost a sentence to live in poverty, and that's the issues that need to be addressed. We need to look at those people that are stuck on one fixed income, and try and create an environment where they can actually live," she said.
"Not just live and barely live, but maybe even thrive and have a good life as well. As long as there's one person in our community that's living under that sentence, that's just not acceptable."
Speaking on the issue of recreation and the proposed sports and entertainment centre, Ratsoy says she'd like to see a solution where the city doesn't shoulder all the risk.
"It definitely needs to be a partnership, that all needs to be looked at. What can be the mix of government, local business, (and) local community members?" she said.
"I'm super lucky, I have great faith in people that if they really believe in something, they will prove it by putting their money towards it. But not necessarily forcing them to through taxes."
The Executive Director at the Parkland Food Bank also says that role has prepared her well, especially when it comes to responsibly handling other people's money.
She says in the last three years, roughly 10% of Spruce Grove's population has used the local food bank.
Two advance polls are scheduled this week, with one on Tuesday from 6 to 9 pm, and the other set for 6 to 11 am on Wednesday.
Following those, a third advance poll will be from 11 am to 3 pm on July 3, with byelection day set for July 10.