Accountant Victor Julyan has joined the Div. 1 race.
Julyan joins incumbent Ron Zadunayski, who announced his candidacy last month.
“When I read the municipal inspection report, I was a little alarmed about what has been going on,” he said. “I had not realized that things had come to such as serious state,” said Julyan, who has listed off the 27 issues highlighted by the report in a pamphlet he’s has been handing out in the division.
Citing the need for the county to develop a strategic plan as his top priority, Julyan also expressed support for keeping the Tawatinaw ski hill open for future generations.
“When we first came to the county, both our sons and my wife learned to ski there.
“Our family really enjoyed the use of that hill in the late 1980s. I look on my own family and the benefit it was to us at that time.
“I can’t help but feeling that we might be denying something to the youth of the area.”
He added he was fond of the idea of teaming up with neighbouring counties to help manage the hill.
Another area he said needs to be addressed are road weights. He suggested the county should resume putting restrictions on loads during poor conditions.
“I know in the winter we regularly had load bans. That seems to have gone by the wayside. The standards have slipped.”
Noting that he was likely facing an uphill battle on that subject, Julyan pointed out the cyclical nature of the road issue.
“Farmers don’t really want road bans at all, it’s something that restricts them,” he said. “Most of the population is engaged in agriculture, but they’re the ones that are complaining when the roads are deteriorating. You can’t have it both ways.”
Councillor conduct is also an issue Julyan wants addressed.
“We seem to be a ship without a very good rudder,” he said. “Though I believe things may be taken in hand by the new chief administrative officer as it sounds like people are impressed with his ability. Perhaps he will able to help get things back on track.”
Julyan immigrated to Canada in 1975 from the United Kingdom, where he worked as a dairy farmer. Eventually finding his way to Westlock, he earned his credentials as a Certified Management Accountant and worked as a controller for Alberta Ag-Industries and later Lehman Trikes Inc. He also helped set up and administer the charity Farmers for Peace in 1989. Later, he purchased NFU Financial Services and set up his own accounting firm in Edmonton, which he sold in 2015.
Admitting there’s lots to learn, Julyan said is used to working in a big organization and had experience in both financing and sourcing major projects, but had never represented an electorate before.
“This is something that I have to work at and develop some skill at,” he said. “You have to put time, effort and not come to rapid conclusions.”