Welcome and thank you for visiting my official campaign website.
I am pleased to announce my candidacy as a St. Albert City Councillor for October 16, 2017.
I have been a resident of St. Albert for 33 years, am married to Barbara (also for 33 years), Dad to two adult children and ‘Grandpa’ to a brand new grandson. Both of our children were raised in St Albert as happy and healthy participants in the many activities available to all St Albert residents. As a family, we all know how fortunate we have been to live in such a friendly, accessible and well served community.
I am retired from the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) having completed 30 years of service. I concluded my policing career as an Inspector, working as an on-street senior manager responsible for control of all manner of critical and resource dependent incidents. This experience exposed me to many different management strategies, problem solving duties, community consultation, budgets, supervision, training and professional standards investigations. I gained negotiation, mediation and conflict resolution experience operating in different non-profit governance models, including President of the Edmonton Police Association, President of the Alberta Federation of Police Associations and as an executive member in several social clubs (EPS Fish and Game, EPS Veterans). Since retirement, I have worked for the Alberta Professional Outfitters Society to develop and implement their ‘professional conduct’ policy and practice and have contracted back with the Professional Standards Branch of the (EPS). Of all this experience, I believe the most important management lesson learned was the value of teamwork.
I will work towards improved Council accountability and transparency by creating an easily accessible record of all individual Councilor motions and votes. Background information for scheduled meeting agenda items must be available for Councillors and the public much earlier than present (for the public, the information is only available Friday afternoon for a Monday meeting).
My position is that we must consider facility sharing and cost sharing when deliberating any new community facility in St. Albert. We cannot continue to consider building stand-alone swimming pools, skating rinks or libraries. Every option must be examined carefully to achieve cost efficient, accessible, and functional facilities.
I have been actively involved in the research and promotion of the adoption of a Policing Committee for St. Albert. This involved much work in determining how local RCMP deployments were being prioritized by the City, what mechanism was available to review and align those priorities with community expectations, and how the legislation could be adapted to bring true civilian oversight to our community. City Council recently passed a Bylaw enabling this oversight, which should see the full operation of the Committee by the New Year.
Provincial standards require regular community surveys specifically for policing. I will ensure this standard is maintained. I believe it is important to re-establish policing priorities for vehicle thefts, vandalism, thefts from vehicles and other property crimes. Distracted driving enforcement must be a priority.
I have attended most of our City Council meetings over the last year. I came to realize there are many issues that would benefit from more thorough dialogue between Council and Administration. All of Council should be asking informed and reasoned questions to ensure the best information is available for every resident of St. Albert. Such dedicated scrutiny will surely improve efficiency in the manner which City services are provided. Unnecessary costs must be addressed and curtailed.
I intend to examine the routing and scheduling of St Albert Transit bus service to retain those routes which work well and ensure residents have consistent access. This review will seek to reduce costs and improve efficiency.
I fully support the continued development, maintenance and upgrades of our parks, trails and green spaces. We must be diligent in saving all of those spaces for our future generations.
I understand the value of supporting our different community groups who assist seniors with active living and who work with homeless and disadvantaged community members. This important work supports those have worked to build the City we now enjoy and helps make life better for those who need a shoulder to lean on.
I believe businesses will succeed in a community where property taxes are reasonable, where amenities are in harmony with resident’s ability to pay, and where debt does not curtail optimism. A healthy community is also a healthy location to operate a business.
But over and above any specific initiatives, I propose to bring an attitude that the money spent by the City of St. Albert cannot be considered unlimited. I will respect taxpayer dollars like they were my own…I will make every dollar count. I will often ask ‘why?’ I will work to reduce and ultimately eliminate debt.
My experience is that well managed and publicly responsive entities can be efficient, customer friendly, and still considered ‘great’. That is what I believe is right for St. Albert. It is what has made this City such a great place to raise our family.