The Rocky View County (RVC) candidate list for this year's municipal election continues to fill up, as incumbent Kevin Hanson has announced he will seek another term as councillor.
“It wasn’t that hard of a decision,” Hanson said. “I saw my work as being started with some good progress, but I don’t really like leaving things half-done. [I want to] finish the job – it’s going to take another term.”
Currently RVC council's Division 3 representative, Hanson will instead be running for the newly formed Division 1 seat in the upcoming election, as the County’s electoral ward boundaries were redrawn in 2020. The new Division 1 encompasses the southwest corner of RVC, including Bragg Creek.
As of press time, the only other candidate for the Division 1 race is Brent Moore.
Hanson is the second of the three formerly sanctioned councillors to have submitted their nomination papers for re-election in the Oct. 18 vote. He said although the sanctions made his first term difficult, he was ready to move on from that situation a long time ago.
“That part has been difficult on my family – there was that consideration,” he said. “At this point, in for a penny in for a pound, I think.”
Sanctions on Hanson, Couns. Crystal Kissel and Samanntha Wright were imposed back in 2019, after they were accused of breaching council’s Code of Conduct for submitting a letter to the editor to the Rocky View Weekly that the rest of council deemed used discourteous and disrespectful language. The letter claimed the County’s process for hiring former Chief Administrative Officer Al Hoggan was “flawed.”
The sanctions were in effect for 13 months and required the three councillors to publicly apologize. They also restricted their ability to travel on behalf of and represent RVC, removed them from all council committees and bodies, decreased their remuneration by 30 per cent and limited their contact with County staff. The sanctions culminated in a legal battle and were eventually set aside by the courts in July of 2020.
Moving past the topic of sanctions, Hanson acknowledges the last four years in RVC council went “horribly,” with legal disputes and in-fighting often plaguing council's meetings and progress.
“It was not what I was expecting at all,” he said. “I am used to working with challenging board members, but I feel at times things have not been that effective for us here. I can work with all different kinds of people, but I found it particularly frustrating.”
Hanson said he felt council was not always coming up with the best decisions, and he hopes a new council come Oct. 18 will provide a fresh start for the County.
“Perhaps we could do a little better for RVC,” he said.
A second term would mean Hanson could focus more on his first campaign’s goal of sustainable growth. He said he knows much more about municipal planning than he did during his 2017 campaign.
“It’s important that council and people running really understand the long-term impacts,” he said. “It’s not much different from running a business with long-term goals as I thought it might be.”
Hanson said the past four years on council have taught him how he could be a better councillor moving forward, if re-elected. He called the first term “eye-opening.”
“I also learned even more about strategies and tactics to deal with different folks,” he said.
For Division 1 voters, Hanson said he feels he represented his constituents well. He added he will continue to listen to their points of view, whether he agrees with them or not.
“I don’t quit easy,” he said. “I will not be bullied. I’ll continue to do what I think is right from a business or ethical point of view, you won’t see any different behaviour out of me. If I’m re-elected, I’ll continue to almost put myself in harm’s way for the benefit of the community.”
For more information on Hanson and his platform, visit his website at votekevin.ca