ATHABASCA — It’s time for some new energy on the Athabasca County council.
Which is why Natasha Kapitaniuk decided to put her name forward to run for the Colinton area Division 2 seat in the Oct. 18 election. It’s not a slight toward the current council, she says, it's just time for some renewed passion.
“Our county is not run down into the ground like some municipalities in our province; we have a successful, bountiful area and we have had good leaders and representatives,” she said in a Sept. 8 interview. “I really think that we have a successful county that can be built upon.”
Kapitaniuk said her generation is stepping up more and more to public roles taking what they’ve learned from those who held office before and carrying the torch forward.
"This generation coming forward have more self-employed people versus retired people,” she said. “We are not coming into fix anything that's not broken. We're not coming in and saying it's all been done wrong before."
Her goals include improved Internet and broadband access, roads, doctor recruitment and retention, and Athabasca University.
“I would be an excellent representative just even knowing the landscape and the community members in the capacity that I do, but I'm confident if elected I will do an excellent job; I will work as hard as I can.”
Kapitaniuk notes social media isn’t being leveraged as effectively as it could be and should be used for responding to rate payers in the manner they contacted her, adding she is available on social media at @natashakapitaniuk, by phone or email.
“Being available to county residents in a flexible manner and reaching out to them in a way that makes it convenient for them to be engaged is really important,” she said. “And that comes down to if you e-mail me, I will e-mail you back; if you text me, I will text you back; if you phone me, I will phone you back."
It also includes immediate public engagement on current events.
“We need to be more available and how do we do that? Use social media,” she said. “If I can ask the question on social media and have 25 intelligent minds give me an answer – that costs nothing – and we could be using that information in all our decision-making processes.”
Kapitaniuk believes in the adage ‘the squeaky wheel gets the grease’ so hearing ‘no’ isn’t going to deter her, she said.
“You have to believe that eventually your effort will make a difference and take what's been done prior and build upon it,” she said. “For me, that's what a new council would bring – energy to pick up those things that have been left and say, let's roll with it again. We have nothing to lose if we keep advocating. If we just stop and rollover, then we have accepted that that will always be the way something is.”
She also believes in full transparency so will be donating any excess campaign funds to a worthy cause.
“I would like to thank my current and future campaign supporters in Division 2 that are helping me embark in this journey and as per election rules all excess campaign donations are donated to charity after the campaign is over,” said Kapitaniuk. “I will be donating all of my excess donations to the Colinton Fire and Rescue in their current efforts to get the new fire truck.”