Yesterday, the Rotary Club of Chestermere held a candidates' forum for all 26 people running in the upcoming by-election. 

The event focused on hearing candidates speak about their vision for the future of Chestermere.

Former Mayor of Chestermere Jeff Colvin was in attendance and said that the city has been diverting residents' tax dollars for 'far too long.'

"Look at our roads. Look at our recreation compared to other cities. We resolved the $16 million lawsuit with Truman Homes and restructured the procurement process to allow developers to be involved in the design and coding. Why would we do that? Because they're the payers, and they're the experts."

According to Colvin, by doing that, they save important dollars for residents. 

"We saved $5 million on the $17 million underground stormwater under Rainbow Road, which allowed Rainbow Road to be twinned, which should have been done ten years ago."

Mel Foat, another former councillor vying for a spot back on council, had a chance to speak about why he should be re-elected. 

"I am concerned about every person in the City of Chestermere. The schools have been left for too long, and I'm afraid I have to disagree that they are not ready."

Foat also mentioned that he was against the $40 million rec center.

"When I went to the office this time, I discovered that there was no subdivision and no land for the rec center." 

He then left off by saying that if re-elected, he would do his best to serve the residents of Chestermere. 

"If you don't choose me that is your choice. It's democracy."

Shannon Dean, another mayoral candidate, has expressed that he is the right choice for the city's top spot.

"I have a clear understanding of our community's needs, priorities, and concerns because I've been involved in it since moving here in 2014, long before my interest in elected office."

Dean explains how it has been a rough couple of years for the citizens of Chestermere amidst a few controversies. 

"I am deeply saddened by how this has affected our community. I've learned a lot about myself and what I am about, and I think we learned who we want to be as a community."

Dean finished his two-and-a-half-minute speech again, affirming that he is suitable for Chestermere.

"Leaders take the initiative, and as such, I took the initiative to run for mayor because, through my involvement, character, and leadership diversity, I am the right candidate to move Chestermere forward." 

Robert Schindler, who is running to become a councillor, said a few words about how he will get Chestermere back from being a "national embarrassment." 

"I've had a government credit card and used it with the utmost respect for public dollars, and I want to do things right."

Schindler said the new council must repair the foundation of the city before anything else.

"We need to implement best practices and policies, but we have our homework to do. We need to restore funding to anti-fees. We need to fix our frustrating infrastructure and prepare school sites for construction. We should build a new rec center and perhaps a public library attached to a new high school."

After the candidates had their opening speeches, they were all asked yes or no questions generated from community residents. 

The candidate's full answers to those questions will be able to be viewed by the public before the weekend. 

The live stream of the full forum can be viewed HERE.

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