Newly elected Kananaskis Improvement District Coun. Cody English will represent the non-commercial residents and ratepayers ward.Photo Courtesy of Ali Gok, Lucid Craft Studios

Cody English was voted to represent non-commercial residents and ratepayers on Kananaskis Improvement District council in what was the second-only election in the ward that was determined by vote and not acclamation.

A resident of Kananaskis Improvement District (KID) for about nine months, English won the byelection with 51 votes out of 69 valid votes cast in advance voting and on byelection day, March 28.

“I’m just really excited to get started learning the process here and to see where best I can fit and make the biggest impact,” English said.

Also running in the byelection was long-time KID resident Ken Hoover, who garnered 18 votes.

By comparison, the last and first byelection in the ward that saw two candidates run for the seat in August 2022 – former elected Coun. Anita Szuster and Liz Hovey-Smith – had 15 votes total, according to KID municipal advisor Julia Millen.

The total number of eligible voters in the ward is about 250 people.

“I’m extremely thankful for the support that came out for sure,” said English. “The voter turnout was, from my understanding, better than the previous byelection, which is excellent that people are starting to get more engaged.

“I do believe that we could have had a lot more bodies out there voting because our resident base is larger than what our turnout was. So, I think we could absolutely improve upon that in the coming years.”

Engaging residents in local governance and how decisions with KID council are made was a priority for English in his campaign, in addition to balancing tourism, wildlife and environmental values, and improving worker retention and attraction.

“Everyone was a little more engaged in this election when previously they weren’t,” said English. “I heard a lot of questions about what the position holds and what it all entails. There was a lot of interest in how Kananaskis Improvement District is run, which I believe has been something lacking here.”

He gave kudos to his fellow candidate for working hard to engage residents.

“Ken is a great guy and I look forward to having many conversations with him about how we can improve KID in the future.”

Hoover, likewise, gave credit to English on his run and said he would continue to advocate for residents and Indigenous interests in Kananaskis.

“I hope those that did vote attend some KID council meetings to follow through on their votes and push to make Kananaskis a better place,” he said.

English will be sworn in at a future KID council meeting in April. 

Under the Municipal Government Act, another byelection must be held within 120 days of the recent departure of former Coun. Claude Faerden, who was forced to resign from his post as the representative of small business in KID in mid-March. A byelection will be held by or before mid-July, but has yet to be set. 

By Jessica Lee, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Apr 05, 2024 at 10:53

This item reprinted with permission from   Rocky Mountain Outlook   Canmore, Alberta

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