Strong Foundations

The role of Mayor requires someone with strong leadership skills, the ability to encourage dialogue from a diverse group, openness to ideas, and the strength to make decisions that are in the interest of the entire community not just a particular individual or group.

I bring three key elements to the table that are foundational for an effective Mayor:

  1. Experience
  2. Understanding of Governance
  3. Servant Leadership Philosophy


I have been at the Council table for eight years. During that time I have invested in additional learning to increase my knowledge of municipal issues, the practice and nuances of good governance and leadership development. I am actively engaged in many ongoing initiatives – water, affordable housing and finances to name a few – putting me in the position to hit the ground running post-election.

There will be a minimum of five new faces on Council in 2021. Knowledge of where we are, the direction we need to go, and the priorities we need to address is going to be critical. I have a track record of strong, collaborative and solution focused leadership.

Reason #1 to Vote Thorn for Mayor on October 18, 2021.

Experience Matters

Understanding of Governance

Understanding the role of council is a crucial piece to understanding local government in order to move good ideas forward. It is important that council understand they are governors, and not the day-to-day operators in the town. We have one person we give direction to: the CAO, and she actions the operations based on the policy and bylaws council enacts.

Council’s role is to determine the what and the why. They are the connection between the owners (residents/businesses) and Administration. They have three roles:

  1. Establish policy & governance framework for the Town of Okotoks
  2. Be the informed voice of the owners (residents & businesses); and
  3. Assure organizational performance
Administration’s role is to determine the steps to accomplish the outcomes and executing on them.
This hourglass is a visual representation of the connected, but distinct function of Council and Administration.
Community well-being as a foundation is key to making good policy and enacting strong bylaws. Within that community framework, five dimensions of well-being exist- cultural, economic, environment, social and political. In order to have a healthy and prosperous community, as Mayor I will keep all five dimensions working together to achieve the best possible outcomes for Okotoks.

Reason #2 to Vote Thorn for Mayor on October 18, 2021.

Governance Matters

Servant Leadership Philosophy

“Servant leadership is a framework for leadership that emphasizes what a leader can offer their organization and their community” – Robert K Greenleaf

I love our community and truly believe that my leadership philosophy is key to elevating our organization to the next level. We are at a critical point in time where we need to transition to being the community of choice for the next generation. This is going to require engaging and experienced leadership that is focused on developing individuals/groups and organizations to perform at their best.

The four key elements of this philosophy for me are:

  • Encouraging diversity of thought
  • Creating a culture of trust
  • Having an unselfish mindset (open to ideas)
  • Fostering leadership in others
  • My guiding principles:

    1. Listening – good leaders practice active listening by asking questions and seeking to understand first. In order to make good decisions it is critical to understand the problem that is trying to be solved and/or the outcome that is trying to be achieved.
    2. Empathy – understanding how people feel and why they feel that way. I lead with people first thinking and try to understand the impact of decisions on people.
    3. Self-Awareness – ability to reflect on my own thought processes, biases and behaviours and make sense on the way those things impact other people and decision making.
    4. Conceptualization – this is the ability to think about broad-based organizational/community challenges and create solutions. I call this the big picture thinking.
    5. Stewardship – every member of Council, Administration and the community carries some responsibility for the building of our community. As Council we need to balance the relationship between individual and collective values, and apply those to make decisions that serve the good of the entire community.
    6. Building community – everyone in our community needs to feel seen, valued, and heard. Gaining perspectives across a diverse cross segment of our community is critical to building complete solutions.

    Reason #3 to Vote Thorn for Mayor on October 18, 2021.

    Leadership Matters