Newcomers challenging Armstrong councillors

His middle name pays homage to his grandfather, who was mayor of Armstrong in the 1940s.

His middle name pays homage to his grandfather, who was mayor of Armstrong in the 1940s.

Now, Dave W. (Wilson) McKechnie, like his grandfather, John (Jack) Wilson before him, wants to serve his community.

McKechnie, along with Robert Thibeau, is one of two newcomers challenging the six incumbents for a seat on Armstrong council in the Nov. 19 municipal elections.

“I’ve got the time, I live here, I was born and raised in Armstrong and Spallumcheen,” said McKechnie, a former councillor in Spallumcheen and Rainbow Lake, in northwestern Alberta.

“I’ve served on two councils before so I have an interest. Before, I was working and could not give  the time really required to do a good job. With the time I have available now, I can be on call 24 hours a day.”

Semi-retired from the construction and trucking industries, McKechnie describes himself as a “young 69-year-old” who is interested in the area.

One issue of concern for McKechnie is affordable housing.

“We hear a lot of that phrase bandied about but nobody really comes up with a solution,” said McKechnie. “Single moms, single men, pensioners who don’t qualify for mortgages, affordable housing is a real problem but what the answer is I don’t know. I want to work towards some sort of solution.”

Unlike McKechnie, Thibeau has no political background.

But the former RV manufacturer employee, now a convenience store clerk, let his name stand after leading a successful petition campaign that dissuaded the City of Armstrong from borrowing money to pay for the installations of water meters.

Thibeau felt he had to step up and let his name stand as he continues to prevent the meters from being installed.

“I never envisioned running for council but this current council has steadfastly refused to acknowledge the majority of Armstrong citizens regarding water meters. We don’t want them. We don’t need them. It’s way too expensive for our small tax base to afford,” said Thibeau. “Regardless of the number of people who signed the petition, this council said we’re not going to listen. So somebody has to represent the majority views of these people.”

Thibeau, married with three children, said he’s not a politician but considers himself civic-minded.

“I want only the best for the community I love and call home.”



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