High River council has passed a new by-law governing the way future municipal elections will be held in the town.

One sticking point was a call for candidates to come up with 25 signatures on their nomination papers with the rationale being it would potentially weed out less qualified candidates, or those who didn't have deep roots in the community.

Councillor Bruce Masterman didn't mind the number but the reason behind it.

"To me the voters decide these things, we shouldn't be deciding whether somebody has live in a community long enough and I know we didn't say that, but it was implied in that comment," Masterman says. "I liked the whole thing, but it was just that one comment that that will ensure that we have a council with roots, and who are we to say that."

Councillor Dragon Brankovich was also quite concerned with the rationale behind having signatures on the nomination papers.

"Whether it's 5, 10 or 15 or 25, well why not 100?" Brankovich says. "One could argue that 100 signatures would signify an even higher commitment but it doesn't."

Councillor Michael Nychuk says having to get the signatures might help someone decide whether running for council was right for them.

"This gives you enough people that in that group of 25 you're going to have some people that are going to provide you some council and say Did you think about the cost of doing this, did you think about the time implications, did you think about the time away from your family', all of those things, Nychuk says. "It's going to help in the process for the potential candidate to make the decision if this is the right course of action for them."

He says it's not meant to question their desire to serve the community, but to give them a better understanding of what they're getting themselves into.

After much discussion council settled on 15 signatures and also voted against candidates having to come up with a deposit to run.

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