Darcy Skarsen hopes to bring a renewed energy and passion to the Municipal District (MD) of Bonnyville Council. Skarsen is asking for your vote on October 16th for Councillor of Ward 2.
“I have always been attracted to politics,” Skarsen explains he has always been drawn to leadership roles. As president of both Bonnyville Minor Hockey and Ashlin Gymnastics Club, he is familiar with structure and organizations. “Sitting on MD council has been at the top of my mind for at least the last year and a half so now I know I am ready to take on this challenge.”
Skarsen and his wife Elaine were both born and raised in the Bonnyville area. They are raising their three children, Ben (12), Jordyn (11) & Jaxon (8), in the MD, Ward 2. “Elaine and I are both from here originally and we hope to watch our children raise their children here. Both of us have too many extended family members to list, that also call Bonnyville their home. Our roots here are deep.”
Being involved in the Community
Being an active member of the community will be an asset to the MD, says Skarsen, “I am a very active member in the community, I am currently President of both Bonnyville Minor Hockey and Ashlin Gymnastics club. I’ve also sat on the Bonnyville Minor Baseball board and coached too many different sports teams to list.” He is also an active volunteer, working with a number of groups in the area, ” I have done countless hours of volunteer work with the Lakeland United Way, the Boys and Girls club, the Bonnyville Health Centre and local elementary & junior high schools.” It’s this community spirit that’ll help guide him to make decisions that are best for the people, “my sense of community pride is unmatched and it’s my passion for making the Lakeland area the best it can be that will help me be successful as MD Councillor.”
“I like to question everything and make sure each decision is made only after careful deliberation and debate,” Skarsen is a very analytical person and says he will take his time to weight each option and hear all points of view.” He would like to use these tools to ensure that MD money is being spent in the best possible manner, “I want to work with the other councillors to ensure we are getting the best value for what we are spending money on. Crime and roads are certainly the big issues I’ve been talking to people about yet the amount of resources we put towards each has quite the disparity between them, that needs to be amended.” He hopes to improve facilities and increase funding to recreation, “it’s no secret that I have a young and active family so I want to make sure that we are able to offer the facilities that all young families of the MD desire and deserve.”
Skarsen says he would maintain roads as a top priority and help discover ways of improving the building and maintenance of roads, “I know there are better ways to run the road building/maintenance program and I have a few ideas that I would run by the new council that would help us get maximum value for the money we spend on roads.” He says if elected he would like to “talk to Mr. Fox and make sure that any ongoing special projects get completed, it would be my own way of saying thank you for the 10 years of civic service.”
Relationships with Neighbouring Communities
“Building a strong working relationship with each of the new councils is priority number one after the elections.” Skarsen would like to work on building better relationships with municipal neighbours; such as Cold Lake, Bonnyville, Glendon, and the Indigenous neighbours. “We need to check our egos at the door and work together to tackle so many issues that effect all of us as a whole. This doesn’t mean regional government but nothing gets done effectively if the three main groups aren’t working together.”
Renewed Energy on Council
“While I’ve been knocking on doors, the term ‘old boys club’ has come up a lot when I ask people to describe council. I want to get rid of that stigma and create a new identity for council that shows that we listen to new ideas and puts the needs/wants of the whole MD first.” Skarsen explains his heart is in the possibility of becoming Councillor for Ward 2 of the MD, “this is a position that should be taken very seriously and shouldn’t come with a high level of comfort, we need to be accountable. I want people to be informed and to know why council makes some of the decisions that it makes, I’ve collected hundreds of email addresses that I will use to keep people up to speed on decisions made and projects we’re working on.”
“Just like every other candidate has preached, we need to VOTE! The MD had a 22% voter turnout last election and we can do a lot better. Polling stations are set up in convenient locations and the process takes minutes once you get there. I’ve heard people say that they are more engaged in this election than past elections and I believe that’s because there’s so many younger people running this time, municipal elections is the best example of having your vote count for something so close to home.” Skarsen urges the residents to get out and vote. To find out more information on the October 16th election visit md.bonnyville.ab.ca.
“Win or lose, this has been a quite an experience that I’ll always remember. I have met so many new people while on the campaign trail and have truly enjoyed most of the conversations I have had on many door steps.”
Residents must vote in a Voting Station corresponding to the Ward that they reside in. For example, if you live in Ward 5, you must vote in one of the Ward 5 Voting Stations.
Not sure which Ward you live in? Click here for the Ward map (updated 2013).
Tentatively, Voting Stations will be open at the following locations:
- Ward 1 – Beaverdam Hall, Fort Kent Seniors Hall, Bonnyville Seniors’ Drop-In Centre
- Ward 2 – Eastbourne Community Hall, Shaw House, Bonnyville Seniors’ Drop-In Centre
- Ward 3 – Flat Lake Hall, Goodridge Jubilee Hall, Glendon RCMP Hall
- Ward 4 – Lessard Community Hall, Willow Prairie Community Hall, Bonnyville Senior Drop-In Centre
- Ward 5 – Ardmore Senior Citizens Club, Alexander Hall, Riverhurst Hall
- Ward 6 – Cold Lake Energy Centre, Cherry Grove Hall