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Tag: MD of Pincher Creek Council

Jim Welsch, the new MD of Pincher Creek councillor, takes his seat at the table, representing District 4, his born-and-raised home.

Meet Jim Welsch, the new MD of Pincher Creek councillor

On May 2, the Municipal District of Pincher Creek welcomed a new councillor, Jim Welsch, for Division 4. Taking over a seat previously held by Harold Hollingshead, Welsch was the sole candidate at the close of the nomination period and took his oath of office at a special meeting on May 7.

“I lived in my division my entire life, and it’s just an opportunity to give back a little bit,” says Welsch.

Welsch has been involved in the municipal planning committee for six years, including time as chair, and presently chairs the Chief Mountain Gas Co-op board. He has also been chair of the 4-H beef committee, president of Porcupine Hills Stock Association and a member of the youth justice committee and the Community Auction Sales Association.

“All the boards and committees I’ve been on are kind of like a prerequisite for this councillor job,” he says. “You learn so much from that, and you can bring all that to this position.”

Ad for Blinds and More in Pincher Creek and Crowsnest Pass

Priorities emphasized in his campaign include road maintenance, more comprehensive law enforcement and vigilance to combat rural crime, and better coordination of firefighting with protection against undue cost for ratepayers.

He also stresses the importance of water with developing drought conditions, and the importance of renewable energy projects being done in a balanced manner.

 

Also read | MD to apply for funding for drought preparedness

 

Though Welsch has run for MD council before, he attributes the success of this byelection to campaigning more and connecting with people more. 

“I thought I knew everyone in my division. I lived there my entire life, but I was in for a big surprise,” he says. “There were a lot of people that I didn’t know.”

Welsch campaigned at about 60 houses and found the process very interesting.

Ad for Creekview Dental Hygiene clinic in Pincher Creek

“They appreciate the time and effort it takes to come and talk to them, and I think they reflect that on election day,” he says. 

Since joining council, Welsch has felt embraced by the environment and appreciates the work they do together. 

“Everyone’s been so warm and welcoming, the council and staff alike,” he says. “I’ve received a very warm welcome and I’m very appreciative for that.”

Ad for Vape in Pincher Creek

As a born-and-raised District 4 resident, Welsch comes to council with deep roots in the community and stakes in local and agricultural issues. 

“I love my job as a rancher and I like everything that goes along with it,” he says. “All the people and the whole big picture.”

Election ballot being placed in box

Division 4 byelection set for MD of Pincher Creek

A byelection date of Thursday, May 30, has been chosen by the MD of Pincher Creek following the Jan. 31 resignation of Division 4 councillor Harold Hollingshead.

The process, open only to those living in the division, will occur if two or more names appear on the ballot. Nominations close May 2.

There are some mandated eligibility requirements.

“They must be eligible to vote in the election,” explains Maureen Webster, returning officer for the municipal district, meaning the person running will need to be at least 18 years of age on election day.

“They have to have resided in the ward itself for six consecutive months immediately preceding nomination day,” she says.

Employees of the jurisdiction are ineligible unless a leave of absence is granted to serve office.

According to Elections Alberta legislation, a candidate might be immediately disqualified if they owe money to the MD, such as back taxes.

 

Ad for Shadowbar Shepherds Training in Pincher Creek

 

“A person is also ineligible,” Webster points out, “if, within the previous 10 years, they’ve been convicted of an offence under the Elections Act.”

While certainly not trying to discourage anyone from stepping forward, Dave Cox, the MD’s representative for Division 5 and current reeve, acknowledges there’s a huge time commitment for the person elected.

“It is a commitment to the municipality because it’s not just going to council meetings. There are several different committees,” Cox says.

But, he adds, being on MD council is a team effort.

“While you might be representing Division 4, you are really representing all of the residents in the MD,” he says.

The successful candidate will formally step into the Division 4 councillor role and, once sworn in, will hold the position until the next local government elections in October 2025. A full term is four years.

Nomination packages detailing the role of councillors are available on the MD’s website at bit.ly/3T2GdS9. Information packages can also be picked up in person at the MD office on Herron Avenue in Pincher Creek during regular office hours, Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Deadline for nominations is May 2 at noon.

 

 

Pig roast at wedding venue — the Cowley Lions Campground Stockade near Pincher Creek in southwestern Alberta.