Former teacher and fiscal conservative Shannon Dean is running to become the new Mayor of Chestermere. 

Dean was a teacher for over 15 years and thought it would be his lifelong journey.

"I thought I would teach, be a vice principal, and then be a principal, but my wife and I decided to work in the non-profit world. I left teaching and ran for the second largest non-profit in Chestermere for almost nine years." 

Dean has also served on 15 other boards and committees, was on the Mental Health Coalition, Older Adults Coalition, and Recreation Coalition, and even coached for a time.

"I was very involved in the community, so it seemed that the next natural step was going into municipal politics." 

Dean ran in the 2021 municipal election and was fortunate to be elected councillor.

"Now, I am trying to take the next step in my career, which is to run for mayor."

According to Dean, gaining the lost trust of the Chestermere residents is the first priority after the firing of former mayor Jeff Colvin and three city councillors for running the city in a financially irresponsible way.

This includes Colvin spending more than $50,000 on a city-issued credit card over several years.

"I hope that residents see my long-term involvement in the community. What sets me apart is that I've been involved and haven't stopped being involved."

Another way that Dean looks at building trust is by good governance.

"We need to trust that the people in office are doing the things they are supposed to be doing. Good governance means working with our stakeholders and not arguing, ensuring we build strong relationships with them. I think that that's something else that I have demonstrated."

The last way that Dean thinks he can build the trust of the Chestermere residents is to have an ongoing and continuing way for the community to be involved publicly and privately with their city council.

"I will bring question period back to the City Council as a standing item. The question period was removed, and I disagreed with it and voted against it. I will bring back question period. I also want to bring constant coffee connections with the council to the city. I think the way to rebuild the trust is by listening to the community concerns."

When Dean was asked what policies, he would implement if elected, he told StrathmoreNow that one of the most important would-be completing school sites.

"Working with our developers, ensuring school sites are ready to go. I want to get them to a spot where they are ready."

Dean says he also wants to see approved school sites and have them ready in the first development phase.

"I want to get us away from, we build all the rooftops first, and then build a school, and schools here are full. We're putting in more rooftops and haven't done a new school."

Another 'big ticket' policy for Dean is recreation.

"What I want to bring to the administration is that we built the new high school and our new rec center simultaneously. There are funding opportunities and partnership opportunities that we could utilize."

And the third most crucial policy for Dean to implement is infrastructure.

"When I think of infrastructure, I think of transportation. We have to figure out how to get our seniors, young people, and those who don't drive in and around Chestermere to Calgary and East Hills more consistently than at 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m."

Dean ends by saying he understands that Chestermere has had a rough couple of years, and he wants to change that.

"If I am voted in, I think you're getting somebody who's involved; you have somebody with integrity and diverse experience."

The City of Chestermere by-election will take place on June 24. 

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