Don Kochan, a 24-year resident of west Rocky View County (RVC), is seeking to unseat incumbent Kim McKylor in the Oct. 18 municipal election in Division 2.
A professional engineer by training, he has extensive experience in financial management, land-use planning, and for 40 years worked in local governments, 30 of them in senior roles, including a five-year term as chief executive officer of the Town of Canmore.
He's been driven to return to municipal affairs by a deep concern over what he believes is a dysfunctional county council and some unclear business processes.
"I don't think it's any secret this council is rather dysfunctional relative to how they function as a team and basically have got two sides happening. I think with the lack of leadership in how they're operating, the business of the day is certainly not being addressed. It seems like they're spending more time fighting amongst each other rather than dealing with the business issues that the county is facing."
Kochan says the volume of freedom of information (FIOP) applications indicates a misunderstanding of how much information should be shared with the residents. He says some residents almost feel cheated and that they're not getting enough information in a timely fashion to provide input.
"To me, it means that unfortunately there's not a real understanding as far as the type of information that should be released, because it's basically the citizens that are paying for this information, but they don't seem to be able to get their hands on it and they have to FIOP it, and FIOPing is a costly experience."
Kochan says he has become increasingly concerned with the lack of financial accountability and transparency.
He wants to be able to apply his knowledge of business requirements for a municipality by helping determine what business levels should be applied by the county and ensure it's being applied effectively and efficiently.
He believes some of the county's budget process is unclear.
"It seems like with some of the budgeting processes that we're seeing, there's a bit of mystery as far as how the budget is being balanced and ensuring we do have a proper revenue source for all expenditures that are coming into play."
Kochan has served on RVC's subdivision and development appeal board and assessment review board for several years.
He says he's readily available to be contacted through his website. You'll find it here.
Nominations continue to be accepted for municipal councils and school boards across the province until Sept. 20.