Okotoks Councillor Tanya Thorn has joined the race for the 2017 Municipal Election, announcing her intention to run for a second term as councillor.

Thorn was first elected in 2013, and says it's been a great learning experience for her, and she wishes to continue with that knowledge for another four years.

"I've learnt a lot about how municipal government works, and how the services we get as residents; all the work and behind the scenes, and stuff that occurs to actually deliver a product that looks super simple on the other side. There's a lot of moving parts to putting in roads, putting in infrastructure, getting a new recreation centre, or expanding a recreation centre, there's so many moving parts with all of it, so I've learnt a lot about that."

Thorn shares there are a few main parts of her platform, the first being improving public engagement, and transparency.

"We're still not where I'd like us to be, so certainly that's a big piece for me, is making things a little bit more user friendly, I'll put it that way. I brought forward a Notice of Motion to make sure all of our councillor expenses are being put online and disclosed. I've pushed for more input into what our budget looks like, so we saw finally this last year the release of Citizen Budget, which allows residents to interact and provide some feedback to us about the budgeting process. I'm looking forward to seeing that expanded over the next four year term if I'm lucky enough to be re-elected, those are things I'd like to see more on."

She also would like to see more variety of housing options in Okotoks, as a recent annexation has been completed she would like to see council do more detailed work around an affordable housing strategy.

"It's about diversification of product, we don't have a very diverse housing product in Okotoks. I really want to see that expanded into what exactly do we want for product in terms of servicing a diverse community, I mean an inclusive community by that. For example so our youth that come back from university have a place they can live in, not just rent, but a place they could actually afford to buy."

She adds having more housing options will enable families, seniors, empty nesters, and youth to stay and grow in the community they love.

Thorn adds another goal of hers should she be re-elected is to create a fresh, new strategy on water.

"I think we need to come up with a broader strategy on getting this water pipeline done, and we need to include our community in it. They need to understand what they can do, because there's elements out there they can do, and we need to tap into that going forward in the next term. We can't be in this position, it's probably my biggest disappointment about this four year term, because it was the first notice of motion I ever did as a councillor to go forward with the pipeline."

The 2017 Municipal Election goes Oct. 16.

Questions, comments, or story ideas? Email us at [email protected]

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