The race heats up for Bragg Creek.
Journalist Enrique Massot has thrown his name in the ring for the Div. 1 seat in Rocky View County’s civic election, challenging businessman Mark Kamachi.
The Creeker resident is best known for his County News Online – an Internet publication that he created in 2013 and runs for no profit. The publication is dedicated to county news and has been known for its critique of county administration and council decisions. He has been covering county news for the better part of 20 years.
“Residents First” is the theme of Massot’s campaign.
“I think there has been some confusion in council between public interests and private benefits,” said Massot, who lived in Div. 9 for two years before moving to Bragg Creek five years ago.
“I feel the public has not been served well,” said Massot, who maintains fiscal responsibility, preservation of the agricultural base and meaningful public engagement are at the forefront of his campaign.
In his constituency, he would focus on flood mitigation issues, including ongoing opposition to the Springbank SR-1 dam; revitalization of the hamlet; and a secondary/emergency egress for West Bragg Creek.
“We need to keep telling the province that (the SR-1 dam) is not a good idea,” he said, reiterating the common concern that the dry dam would provide no protection to Bragg Creek or Redwood Meadows; he would also continue to champion ongoing flood mitigation projects, including berm building.
Massot would implore the province to look to alternatives to SR-1 – such as McLean Creek or the Tri-Rivers Reservoir proposal.
Building up businesses and boosting tourism draw to the hamlet is essential to revitalization.
“The hamlet is ready to grow – as long as that doesn’t wreck the character of the hamlet,” he said, adding that he would like to see the disband review and design committee re-established so that business owners and residents could provide input.
Massot has a plethora of concerns that centre on his stance that developers’ interests have been put before the concerns and quality of life of county residents – with low levies compared to Calgary.
He is hopeful that the rewrite of the Municipal Government Act will allow for municipalities to charge developers for soft infrastructure – such as recreation facilities.
He is concerned that urban sprawl will take away from the county’s agricultural roots – citing the Glenbow Ranch Area Structure Plan (GRASP) as an example.
“You can put a lot of nice words around it, like conservation community, but it’s urban sprawl,” said Massot, emphasizing that the potential development of upwards of 16,000 people between Cochrane’s eastern borders and the Calgary is an example of where the density is too high to be rural and too low to be urban.
He is also concerned about the added pressures this type of development would have on Highway 1A and on services in nearby Calgary and Cochrane – citing the recent appeals by both as an example of the county being bad neighbours.
Massot hails from Argentina and moved to Calgary in 1990. He has worked as a journalist for nearly 20 years and studied at Mount Royal College (now University).
He lives with his wife, Yolanda, and they have one 20-year-old son, Andres, who studies at the University of Calgary Haskayne School of Business.
Massot will hang up his reporting hat for the duration of his campaign, leaving countynewsonline.ca open for those campaigning in the nine county divisions to post about their campaigns.
He is also encouraging all candidates to declare their campaign contributions on the news site, where he has a dedicated page in an effort to promote transparency.
Massot will only accept resident contributions to his campaign and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.