August 16th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 32
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Council appoints returning officer
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
ANNA KROUPINA
Pass Herald Reporter
Council passed a motion on August 3 to appoint Natalie Dzioba as Returning Officer for the upcoming municipal election.

As Returning Officer, Dzioba is responsible for all aspects of running the election while adhering to the Local Authorities Election Act.

Her first task was to declare Monday, September 18, 2017 as Nomination Day. Candidates looking to run for Council or Mayor must submit paperwork to the municipal office between 10 a.m. and noon on Nomination Day.

Dzioba’s next priority is to fill 35 to 40 positions for election workers. She will also be responsible for receiving nomination papers for prospective candidates, ordering election supplies, ensuring that election workers are properly trained, running the advanced poll and Election Day, and administering candidate information sessions.

Two information sessions are scheduled for potential candidates who are interested in running for public office. A “Women in Municipal Government” session is scheduled for September 7 and a “Candidate Info Session” will take place on September 12. At the sessions, municipal staff and the current Council will provide campaigning tips and explain the candidacy process and the responsibilities of a mayor and councillor.
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According to Kristin Ivey, Manager of Corporate Services, Dzioba was a good choice for the position because she has a municipal background and because she is new to the community.

“The idea with the Returning Officer is that it’s someone impartial with no preconceived notions tied to candidates. It’s also nice to get someone with a municipal background because they’re used to following processes,” says Ivey.

Dzioba certainly brings an impartial quality to the position, as she hasn’t even officially moved to Crowsnest Pass yet. She and her husband will be moving down from Spruce Grove, Alberta at the end of August.

“My husband is a field officer with the Alberta Emergency Management Agency. He was offered a position in the South region of Alberta and we were given an opportunity to move into the region where he worked,” says Dzioba, whose professional background is in IT, a field she has worked in for over 30 years. Most recently, she provided technical support to the mayor and council at Parkland County.

“We came down and really just fell in love with the Crowsnest Pass area and thought it would be a great experience to live there. I thought applying for the Returning Officer position would be a great way to really immerse myself in the community that we’re living in,” says Dzioba. “At the end of the day, my feeling would be that we have held a successful election if all eligible voters who wanted to vote had the opportunity to do so. I hope that I serve them well, that I meet their expectations and that we have a successful, problem-free election.”
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The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) would have been the default Returning Officer should Council have chosen not to appoint en external person. Since the municipality does not have a permanent CAO at this time following the contract termination of former CAO Lorrie O’Brien in July, Ivey says it is a good idea to have a returning officer this year due to shortage of staff.

Advanced polls will be open on October 11 for people unable to vote on Election Day, October 16. For both advanced polls and Election Day polls, stations will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters will elect one mayor and six councillors.

For more information on candidate forms, the information sessions or the election in general, visit the municipal website at www.crowsnestpass.com/municipal-government/municipal-administration/municipal-election.
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August 16th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 32
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