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Castor residents head to the polls Oct. 18

A look at some of those running for Town council (part one)

By Kevin J. Sabo

For the Advance

The residents of Castor are heading to the polls on Oct. 18 for the 2021 general municipal election.

In the upcoming election for Town council, residents of the community will not be lacking options. Three of the current councillors have decided they will not run again, leaving four incumbents and six new candidates vying for votes to fill the seven seats.

Due to the large number of people running, a brief look into the 10 candidates will be split into two separate articles, with each covering five. The first of the pieces will look at three incumbents, and two new candidates.

Richard Elhard

Elhard has been a sitting Town of Castor councillor since 2013 and has acted as mayor of the community since the 2017 election.

“I hope that I have brought honesty, integrity, and a personal connection to the many people that I deal with and meet through the positions I have served on,” said Elhard, via email.

“I believe that I have worked hard to make things go as well as they can in a small community. Often, we are restricted by municipal rules and regulations that do not necessarily fit a small town, and we have to work around these restrictions as best we can.”

As a cattle, grain, and hay producer living in the region long-term, Elhard feels that he is well suited to continuing as a sitting member of council.

“I have dealt with many people of different backgrounds.

“I feel my life experience dealing with many people has helped when dealing with the various people that cross my path. Hopefully my past eight years representing Castor speak for itself.”

Trudy Kilner

Kilner is another incumbent seeking re-election.

Initially winning her seat on council in 2017, Kilner is seeking her second term as a councillor.

Kilner, and her husband, have made Castor home since 2013, and since 2020 she has acted as the Chief Administrative Officer of Castor’s Paintearth Lodge in addition to her council duties.

“With the help of experienced councillors, their understanding and support, I have gained experience and knowledge in working with the issues in front of council,” said Kilner.

“I am proud of the fact that decisions made by council reflect the feelings of the majority of councillors. We try to address issues as a cohesive team while showing respect for other opinions – both resident and councillor. I want to continue to serve the Town of Castor, and my vision for the future of Castor is a thriving, prosperous community for all ages. I look forward to serving another four years to the Town of Castor, promoting our community as a place where people want to be.”

Melanie Robertson

Robertson is running as a town councillor for the second time, having been previously defeated in a by-election.

Having lived and worked around the community of Castor for a number of years, she has sat on the Our Lady of the Rosary Hospital Board, sitting as chair for two years, as well as the community’s Physician Recruitment Board, also serving as chair. Previously, Robertson also served as provincial president of the Alberta Royal Purple Association.

“The skills learned in these various positions have provided me with a background of governance which will enable me to keep an open mind in all matters pertaining to council, never letting personal opinion override the good of the community,” said Robertson, via email.

Robertson’s professional experience is also varied, having driven school busses, working for the Castor Advance as clerical support and manager, and working as a municipal employee for the Coronation RCMP.

Kevin McDougall

Incumbent Kevin McDougall, who won his seat in a 2019 byelection, is looking to continue the work he has been doing on council.

“I am running for council because I want to continue to represent your views, as your voice on council,” said McDougall.

“I want to be one of the seven decision makers who develop the future of our community, ensue its alignment with (resident) values, and support the vision that (residents) have for the future of (their) families, (their) businesses, and (themselves).”

McDougall feels he can continue to make a difference in the community.

“I feel I contribute to having great open discussions with council,” said McDougall. “Which, in the end, makes us work as a great team. Whether we agree or disagree, the end result is the maximum benefit to the community. (People) should vote for me because I bring a voice of reason, I stand up for what I believe in, and I’m not afraid to make changes that are needed.”

Outside of his council experience, McDougall is the manager of Paintearth Waste Management facilities in Halkirk, Castor, and Coronation.

Don Sisson

Rounding out this week’s look at five of the 10 candidates running in the Oct. 18 election is Don Sisson.

Sisson has lived in the community with his wife for 37 years and has been involved with several organizations in that time.

“I feel that I have the time and energy to serve on council,” said the recently retired Sisson.

“I have never been involved in local politics, but I am looking forward to learning the policies and procedures it takes to run a town. I think Castor is a great place to live and raise a family, and I do my best to keep it that way.”

Sisson’s professional experiences includes managing the United Grain Growers elevator, running his own business for 10 years, and working for Crop Production Services for 11 years. He is currently employed at the Paintearth Lodge.

Check back next week to get the scoop on the final five candidates.