Cochrane High students report on Mayor’s Forum

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The town’s three candidates for mayor spent last Friday morning at Cochrane High School, discussing election issues with students in grades 9 and 11. The Cochrane Eagle asked youth to contribute articles reflecting their thoughts after attending the forum. Here are their pieces:

By Mackenzie Davis

On Friday, the three mayoral candidates for the upcoming Cochrane election met at Cochrane High School to discuss their platforms and plans for the community.

The youngest candidate, Tom Hardy, promised to bring new ideas forward and put emphasis on listening to the people and increasing government transparency. Transit, infrastructure and business development are all problems that Hardy would like to address.

On the other hand, our current mayor, Ivan Brooker, plans on continuing his present projects as well as putting a focus on bringing businesses to Cochrane, securing steady town growth, and transit. Likewise, Jeff Genung expressed his own interest in town growth, but seeks to slow development rather than grow it.

Improving quality of life appears to be a fundamental priority to Genung’s mission. Among issues such as transit and parking, town development was a major matter brought up at the mayor’s forum. While stances differed across the candidates, aiding small businesses and increasing local jobs were common goals.

Both Hardy and Genung conveyed their criticism of the current rate of development in Cochrane for reasons such as increasing traffic, the loss of town identity, and the suppression of local small businesses. In particular, Genung’s concerns centered around the “unsustainability” of Cochrane’s current growth and he looks to create a sense of community by slowing it.

Conversely, Brooker aims to sustain current town growth to attract external businesses. Brookers idea of development is aimed at improving employment, quality of life, and accessibility of service and goods within the town.

By Kendra Williams

What really stood out to me from each mayor candidates during our mayor’s forum, was the differences and similarities of their future vision of Cochrane.

Tom Hardy was a Cochrane High graduate, and has roots in Cochrane. He is mostly about listening to the people and hearing what they have to say by embracing their ideas. Hardy wants to help Cochrane with transit, infrastructure and the improvement of business opportunities in Cochrane. Hardy said, “We need to serve the public and be able to listen to the voice of the people.”

Jeff Genung’s has a very personal connection to Cochrane with strong roots. Genung has lived in Cochrane since 1976 and graduated from Cochrane High in 1986. Genung knows how important growth is and would like to slow it down so we don’t have the pressures that growth brings. Doing it in a way that is fun and meaningful to the people in Cochrane so we can get things done the way people want.

Ivan Brooker is the current mayor of Cochrane and has been for the past eight years. He also graduated from Cochrane High along with the other candidates. Brooker has current projects started to address traffic control on highways 1A and 22, a new traffic system with the aid of Calgary transit, and a new high school.

Each candidate has something new to bring to the table, and I look forward to seeing who is elected and what they will do for Cochrane.

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