Susan Flowers is one of the incumbent Cochrane town council candidates seeking re-election in the upcoming October 18, municipal election.
Susan has deep roots in town as she is one of four generations living in Cochrane. From her four-year-old grandson to her 90-year-old mother, Flowers has firsthand insight into all levels of needs in our community.
Flowers is seeking a second term on town council; however, she had been involved in the community long before that. Having lived in Cochrane since 1992 and working for the Town of Cochrane for 22 years in the Family & Community Support Services (FCSS) division, she was deeply immersed in the social side of community development. For example, she was involved with Cochrane Home Treasures and Seniors on the Bow.
After retiring from the town, Flowers says, “I was lucky enough to be put in as a councillor and have done one term, one four-year term on council and I am really into it. We’ve got big projects going on and we have been slowed down somewhat of course from the pandemic but now I’m hoping to do another term and finish some of these projects and get things going.”
Flowers is very proud of what the current council has accomplished including, upgrading the infrastructure including the current road improvements, the COLT transit system, and the live streaming communication capabilities. Flowers says, “I am really happy we put that in place, I had heard it talked about many years prior to our being elected and so we got it going and the meetings are all live-streamed and then the pandemic hit and so thank heavens we had it in place.”
However, that is not to say that there is more to be done and Flowers would like the opportunity of a second term to finish what has been started and undertake some new projects as well. A couple of high priorities on her bucket list include tackling the need for more affordable housing in Cochrane. “I was involved with setting up the Cochrane Society for Housing Options back in the beginning and I know there is a big need for more housing. So, I’m hoping that we can work together with the society over the next four years to get another project going in the community.”
Another goal on the list is to try and create and new senior’s living facility. “The Big Hill Lodge is really outdated and there are cracks in the walls and it’s really been identified that we need a new seniors centre so I would like to keep working on that. I sit on the Rocky View Foundation, and we look at the needs of seniors housing throughout Rocky View County, so the Big Hill Lodge is definitely high on the list.”
It would be remiss to not touch on the topic of Cochrane growth with an incumbent councillor as it seems to always be top of mind with residents and Flowers admits that it is most definitely is a balancing act. “The growth thing is always push pull because we want more services and increase things for Cochrane, but we don’t want to grow too fast. We want to keep it at a steady speed, and I think it has slowed down through our term a lot. We didn’t approve very much at all throughout our term. Most of it was approved prior too.” As many including Flowers realize, “People want to move here because it is a beautiful place to be and there are so many opportunities. We’re lucky because I know a lot of communities are shrinking and they are closing schools and people are leaving. We have had our challenges we want to make Cochrane the best that it can be and make sure the infrastructure is in place so we are working hard on the roads right now and a lot of money is going there to try and improve the road situation, but we need the social infrastructure too we need the seniors housing and affordable housing and things that make Cochrane good for everyone.”
Susan Flowers says she really enjoys making things happen even though at times it takes longer and may cost more than was first intended. “Just knowing what is good for Cochrane and talking to people and trying to implement things that make the quality of life better for people […] so it’s listening to people and trying to make a difference.”
Susan Flowers is hopeful that she will be given the opportunity to continue to make things happen and get things done on October 18.