MEDICINE HAT, AB – Councillor Robert Dumanowski says the enthusiasm for his role in the city has not waned over the past 16 years.
“I love public office, I love public service,” he said. “I’m still as excited -and I mean that sincerely- if not more about the possibility of entering a sixth term as I was the first term.
“I say this to many people; For me, public office is a vocation. It is a calling to be with the people and a voice for the people.”
Dumanowski, who is an elementary school principal, was first elected to city council in 2001, and has been re-elected every year since. His five terms make him the longest-serving city councillor with consecutive terms factored in (Councillor Julie Friesen has served six terms in total, from 1989-1992, 1998-2010, and 2013-present).
“Despite a person being in this job for one term, or five terms, it’s an ever-changing environment that you have to be ready and willing to answer to and respond to, and be extremely engaged with,” he said. “Otherwise it’s a very difficult job or workplace to be part of, if you’re not anticipating that.”
In his current term, Dumanowski served on the Corporate Services Committee, the development and Infrastructure Committee and the Police Commission. He says city council has completed many of its goals, but adds the next term will not be relaxing or quiet.
“We have a Financially Fit model that’s front and centre, and we are challenged to stay the course as best we can, but recognizing that along the way, there will be deviations and bumps based on public feedback,” he said.
If elected, Dumanowski says city council will have to “stay the course” on the Financially Fit model, and says the city will have to be prudent with taxpayer dollars. He adds he is also excited about the potential for helium drilling, seeing it as a possible economic benefit for the city.
When asked what his vision is for the city in the next decade, Dumanowski says he wants to see Medicine Hat continue to grow its economic base and become a vibrant community, made up of families who chose to move to here “due to a stable tax base and fair utilities.”
“I want this community to safeguard its financial mindset as far as putting money away, and now that we have the Heritage Fund, we need to be putting money away for future generations,” he said.
The election is set for Oct. 16.
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