October '10 Newsletter

Town Council News

October 2010                                                                                                                          Volume 5, Issue 5

 Message from the Mayor


I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Athabasca who took the time to get out and vote on Monday, October 18, and all Athabascans who received knocks on their doors from candidates over the past few weeks.


The various democratic discussions engaged in over this time have shown the intense interest and concern many of us share for Athabasca.


I welcome the new Council who have been given the opportunity to represent the needs and wants of our town. Over the past number of days, hearing members of the community telling us about desired changes or improvements, it is even more apparent that we live in a community that is already doing many things well and that has great potential to do even more.


Over the next few days, Council and Administration will engage in informal discussions, culminating with an organizational meeting on the evening of Thursday, October 28. At that time, all Councillors will be officially sworn in, followed by the distribution of committee appointments. Once this is done, the Athabasca Town Council team will be ready and eager to begin serving the community.


Mayor-elect, Roger Morrill

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Council Biographies

Roger Morrill

Phone: 780-675-2063

Roger Morrill first entered the arena of municipal politics in November, 2009, after winning a by-election to fill a vacant seat on Town Council. The 2010-2013 term is his first serving as Mayor.


A dentist by profession, Roger has many years of experience serving the Athabasca community and listening to the cares of local and area residents. He began his dental practice in Athabasca 31 years ago where he continues to provide dentistry services.


Originally a resident of the Rochester area where his family farmed, Roger attended Rochester School before attending Edwin Parr Composite School in Athabasca to complete his last two years. From there, he went on to the University of Alberta.


Roger has been a resident of the Town Of Athabasca since 2006. He enjoys cycling and cross country skiing and is an active member of the Wa-no Kaze Kai Karate Club where he is working towards his third degree black belt.


As Mayor for the 2010-2013 term, Roger’s goal is to provide effective leadership for the councillor team and to continue contributing to the decision-making process in a meaningful way for the benefit of all residents.


 Lionel Cherniwchan

Email: liochern@yahoo.com  
Phone: 780-675-2503



Lionel Cherniwchan is a Councillor with a wealth of experience. He served two terms as Mayor from 1995-2001, then, after a break, returned as a Councillor in 2004 and again in 2007. He is now following up with another term, running from 2010-2013.


Enthusiastically active in the community, Lionel has served on the board of the Athabasca General and Auxiliary Hospital, serving as board chair for eight years. He spends time volunteering with various local groups and is an active member of the Rotary Club of Athabasca.


Lionel was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 in recognition of his contribution to the community and he is a recipient of the Government of Alberta Centennial Medal. In 2007, he was honoured by Athabasca University as an inductee into the Order of Athabasca University in recognition of his support of AU at both the local and provincial levels.


After a 36-year career in public education as both a teacher and an administrator, Lionel has been enjoying an active and fulfilling retirement.


 Paula Evans

Email: evans866@telus.net
Phone: 780-675-9467 

Paula Evans brings a scientific perspective to her role as a Town Councillor. Now enjoying a third term on Council, Paula continues to update her knowledge of energy and water-saving innovations and will pursue interests in housing, long-term planning, sustainability, the Athabasca riverfront and citizen engagement.


A long-term resident of northern Alberta, Paula moved to Athabasca from Vilna thirteen years ago. Her involvement in community groups presently includes Science Outreach – Athabasca, Athabasca Peace Initiative, Athabasca Garden Club, and she serves as a representative on the Athabasca Watershed Council.


Paula’s background in science, her interest and commitment to research and a habit of reading widely are assets she considers useful in matters of Council and in her role in the community as a Town Councillor.


When Paula is not addressing resident needs, tending to Councillor responsibilities or providing support to one of her community groups, you might find her filling in as a substitute teacher for Aspen View School Division.



 George Hawryluk

Email: georgeh@telus.net
Phone: 780-675-5265
Cell: 780-327-9905 


Now in his third term, George Hawryluk considers it an honour and a privilege to serve as a Town Councillor. He has come to realize how important the commitment of each councillor is, and the value and importance of working as a team.
He endeavours to be patient, determined and diligent in all of his councillor duties.


A Grade 8 Social Studies and Language Arts teacher at Edwin Parr Composite School, George has learned to balance teaching duties with the diverse responsibilities of Council.


George first arrived in Canada in 1970. He studied at Algonquin College in Ottawa, then the University of Ottawa and Queen’s University in Kingston before beginning his teaching career at the Canadian Forces Foreign Language School in Ottawa.


After moving to Alberta in 1980 George taught junior and senior high in Edson and Edmonton before coming to Athabasca in 1992. He is married with three children and two grandchildren.


As a Councillor, George seeks to ensure that Town Council remains transparent and accountable, fulfills its duties and commitments, and addresses the needs and concerns of all citizens of Athabasca. He will continue to promote and support community growth and development economically, socially, recreationally and environmentally with an emphasis on sustainability.


Christine Nelson

Email: c.nelson.go@gmail.com

Phone: 780-675-3124



Christine Nelson brings a diverse background of professional experience and community involvement to Council in her second term. From extensive experience in senior management with Athabasca University, to writing, art and volunteer work, Christine offers wide-ranging perspective.


Born in Provost, raised in Red Deer, educated in Edmonton and London Ontario, Christine has been a resident of Athabasca since 1984. She sees Athabasca as a town with enormous strength and innovation in its citizens.


After 26 years with Athabasca University, Christine retired from a senior management position. She held a number of very different management positions within AU, most recently Director Educational Media Development and Director Public Affairs. From these positions, she brings to Council experience in policy development, strategic planning, government relations, budgets, collaborative projects, technology assessment, international projects, board development training, marketing and general management skills.


As issues arise in Council, Christine is particularly interested in thoughtful, practical solutions.


 Richard Verhaeghe

Email: richard@athabascalaw.com
Phone: 780-675-2534 


Richard Verhaeghe returns to Council for the 2010-2013 term after having served the town as Mayor during the 2004-2007 term.


As a lawyer, he brings to Council insight into legal matters along with practical problem solving and dispute resolution skills. He received his legal education at the University of Alberta, where he attended the Faculty of Law.


Richard has lived in the area for 10 years and in the Town of Athabasca for nine years. Employment opportunities and the prospect of Athabasca being a great community were big factors in his decision. Being the owner of one commercial building in town, and having been involved with the development of another local business, he offers to Council his business sense and social ideas.


An active supporter of community, Richard has contributed to and encouraged support of initiatives such as building the Athabasca Regional Multiplex and the Rotary Club of Athabasca Spray Park and J.A. Evans Skateboard Park.


Richard is a recipient of the Order of Athabasca University.


Timothy Verhaeghe

Email: tim@athabascalaw.com 
Phone: 780-675-2534 

Tim Verhaeghe brings to council both legal knowledge and business experience. His training and experience allow him to be an effective Councillor in that he is able to make quick and accurate decisions. He can review facts, identify the issues, interpret the rules, analyze the scenario, and reach a conclusion.


Tim has lived in Athabasca since 2003 and continues to live here with his wife and daughter. His family is the most important thing to him and as such, he wants this to be a town for his family and other families to enjoy for many generations to come.


Born and raised on a cattle ranch near Plamondon, Alberta, Tim developed a love for nature. This led him to pursue an education in Forestry. He completed the NAIT Forest Technology Program and then attended the University of Alberta and completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Forest Management.


He was then hired by the Province of Alberta's Sustainable Resource Department as a Forest Officer and worked in that profession until attending the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan. Tim completed his Bachelor of Laws at the University of Alberta. While a student in law school, he would return every summer to the provincial Alberta Helitack Forest Fighting Program as a Helitack Leader. His teams would be the initial attack force on forest fires in Alberta and would also be exported to problem fires in other provinces and the U.S.A.


Tim sat on the Athabasca Recreation Board, and was a member of the Athabasca Advocacy Group and for this he received the Order of Athabasca University.





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 Centennial Promotions Grant available to local groups 


With Athabasca’s Centennial Year now just a few months away, the Athabasca Centennial Committee is looking to get the community fired up with ideas, activities and participation to help make it a celebration to remember.


The mission of the Committee is: “To showcase the Town of Athabasca and celebrate our 100th anniversary by bringing
the community together for a year-long celebration of our heritage, identity and our future.”


Community groups and organizations will be an important part of making this happen.


To support local groups and organizations, the Committee is offering a Centennial Promotions Grant of up to $500 per event, to be used to promote Centennial-themed events, or to help develop a Centennial theme for an event. For example, the funding could be put towards Centennial clothing or crests to be worn by members of a group during their event in 2011.


Centennial events can be scheduled at anytime throughout the year; the more events, the better. Events can also be tied in to the Town of Athabasca Centennial Celebration weekend on July 29-31, or can be scheduled on or around the Town’s
100th anniversary party on September 17.


It would be good to advise the Centennial Committee in advance of any events being planned, and it would be particularly beneficial for groups to check with the Committee when planning events for the July weekend and the September anniversary event.


Many volunteers are needed for the July and September events. The Committee asks local groups and organizations to encourage their members to step forward as volunteers to ensure the success of these events. Volunteer tasks may include helping to coordinate the planning of the event, assisting with setting up or taking down, or assisting with site supervision and security.


A letter will be sent to local groups and organizations that will include the criteria to qualify for Centennial Promotions Grant funding and how to apply for it.


Questions regarding the Centennial Committee or the grant can be directed to info@athabasca2011.com.


Local Artisans wanted for Centennial Celebration event


The Centennial Committee is looking for local artisans who want to have their handicraft work featured during the Athabasca Centennial Celebration weekend of July 29-31, 2011.


Interested artisans and crafters should either currently reside in Athabasca, or have once been a resident, or be invited or sponsored by a current resident. All handicraft items to be displayed must have some local connection or significance to Athabasca.


Please submit a letter of interest, including contact information, a brief background of the artisan and the handicraft, and photos of the handicraft, where applicable, to info@athabasca2011.com.


Centennial Power Point presentation


Centennial Committee member Kelly Lynn Spafford has prepared a power point presentation that provides details about the Committee and the Committee’s Centennial planning efforts to date.


The presentation will be shown to groups, organizations and businesses in the community and a link to the presentation will be posted on the Athabasca 2011 Centennial website.


Highlights include the Centennial Committee mission statement, a history of the planning process and the committee, an overview of Centennial plans, highlights of the July 2011 Homecoming Weekend, highlights of the September 2011 Town of Athabasca Birthday Party, an overview of potential or proposed Centennial events, and insight into what some of the next steps in the planning process will be.


Watch for the presentation. Check it out and share it with others in the community.


Next Centennial Committee meeting, Nov. 18: Everyone welcome


The next meeting of the Athabasca Centennial Committee will be held in the upper floor meeting room of the Athabasca Regional Multiplex on Thursday, November 18, 7 p.m.


All members of the community interested in sitting in and helping with centennial planning and preparations are invited to attend. Representatives of all local clubs, groups and organizations are encouraged to participate.


With the mission of the Committee being to showcase the town throughout 2011, many more supporters and participants are needed to make it a success. Plan to attend the Nov. 18 meeting at the Multiplex.


Visit the Athabasca Centennial website: www.athabasca2011.com


Contact the Committee by email: info@athabasca2011.com

Connect on Facebook: Login and search for Town of Athabasca Centennial 2011






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