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Established roots: Carolyn Krahn adds her name to the ballot in Ward 11

A new face vying for a spot on city council is hoping we can act a lot more like good neighbours. Especially in her southwest Calgary ward.

Carolyn Krahn announced in February she’s officially jumping into the race to replace outgoing Coun. Jeromy Farkas in Ward 11. Farkas announced earlier this year he would run for mayor.

Krahn said her family has decades-old history in the ward. As a councillor, Krahn said she wants to establish a strong sense of community – both in council and in the public.

“My family has lived in Ward 11 for over 60 years. My grandma was an aquatics instructor… I went to Bishop Grandin High School, we’ve got deep, established roots in the community here,” she said.

“I was keeping an eye on everything that’s happening now and thought, ‘there’s a lot of divisiveness and a lot of conflict in our current political climate.’ I really just want to see us try to be neighbours again.”

Krahn brings with her 10 years of experience in disability case management, government grant management, higher education, and employment rights administrative justice.

Her campaign, she added, focuses on social and economic responsibility being not mutually exclusive.

“My platform is about the marriage of social and economic responsibility. As far as I’m concerned, you can’t have it one way or the other,” she said.

“We absolutely have to be fiscally responsible, but we also have a duty to take care of the people in our city and the neighbours who are around us.”

A focus on clean energy and community infrastructure

As part of her campaign platform, Krahn said she intends to bring in a clean energy improvement program through a municipal climate change action centre.

The idea is to incentivize Calgarians to upgrade their homes to be more energy efficient. Upgrades like new windows and heating would be tied to the homeowner’s tax bill. It would be paid off over the duration of product warranties, and would be passed off to the next homeowner if applicable.

Like any other program, the money has to come from somewhere to kickstart it.

Krahn said her non-profit sector experience perfectly equips her to help determine how best to fund such a project.

“I think there needs to be more intention and focus in regards to how we fund programs and why we fund [them],” she said.

“In the non-profit sector, you do have to do a lot of nimble thinking, resourceful thinking because you’re on a limited budget,” she said.

Krahn’s campaign also wants to build community infrastructure and recreation.

“There is a focus in this ward on, how do we revitalize and develop community programming, given that we’re not necessarily seeing that large influx of money from developers and other people who might fund those projects,” she said.

Krahn said it’s a good time to think about how we can design and use post-pandemic recreational space.

“If the concept of what an office space looks like has changed, can we not start looking at community spaces that way as well?” Krahn asked.

“There’s definitely room to champion these spaces in an innovative way.”

Council spending, Green Line

On Krahn’s website it singles out spending at Calgary city hall and the Solutions for Achieving Value and Excellence (SAVE) program.

“I will take a hard look into the spending being done at Council, and hold other councillors accountable to responsible spending for our communities,” she wrote.

With respect to the potential construction of the Green Line, Krahn told LiveWire Calgary she had yet to take time to dive into the issue. As it stands, it would have little impact on Ward 11 constituents, she said.