My thoughts delivered November 13th in the first council meeting Council Forum.
Thanks to my fellow councillors for your advice and stewardship leading up to this evenings first meeting. A special thanks to our city clerk Cliff Skauge and his staff for patience and dedication to our city governance.
I would like to thank the citizens of Ward 2 for their vote of confidence. I will work hard for you and all others in the city. To all the candidates that ran for office I wish you the best and thank you all on behalf of the citizens of Prince Albert for running.
I won because of my campaign team - my wife Kathy she knocked doors, delivered flyers and provided good advise. I also want to thank my friends, relatives and my grand-girls for helping the weekend before the election and my especially PICK RICK PA Exhibition Parade Grandkids for travelling from Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatoon to help grandpa.
TO OUR Mayor and council - what our citizens told me is they feel disconnected and would like to be heard. I have suggested I would ask for community meetings that would bring council, administration and community policing to the table. Everyone’s voice would be heard and then council and admin could decide if they wanted to deal with what is bothering most people. We need to figure out quickly what are our priorities as we enter into the upcoming budget cycle. Also we have to figure out how to communicate better with our citizens.
People’s views were quite simple, they want sustainable taxes, safe neighbourhoods and basic infrastructure fixes, like the bridge, safe water, well maintained roadways and lanes along with a 2nd bridge.
Mom’s and grandmothers are concerned about speeding, park inspections for needles and glass. In Hazeldell your neighbours tell me they would like more speed enforcement and potholes fixed and better dust control maintenance on 3rd Street & 4th Avenue N.W.
Your Nordale neighbours tell me that most want basic things like potholes fixed especially as you come off the highway and the mailbox areas covered with an all weather covering. Many in Prince Albert don't realize Nordale citizens do not have city water or sewer hook ups. Nordale residents are worried because they may not have adequate fire protection because they don’t have hydrants or even a high pressure water line.
People all over the city tell me they feel roads are left to deteriorate and that leads to unnecessary vehicle damaging and it may lead to accidents. Some say they have asked over and over for years for more police patrols.
People want us to provide common sense and good thinking that is why they have put us here. We have a great city management team that are working hard on sustainable solutions to difficult issues like 100 year old infrastructure.
People say Get ‘er done! Less studies, less reports, less bureaucracy and empower our fantastic city workers to get out and fix the problems without all the red tape and fuss. That is how most think council and our city needs to get it done. Developers challenge us to streamline the intrusive system for development. We are in a competition with other municipalities Prince Albert must encourage investment and enterprise to move forward.
Some challenged me that you will just be like the rest and say whatever it takes to get elected and then do nothing. I want to be upfront and let you know I will be your advocate and voice at council. I will return my calls and emails and I will represent you to the best of my ability.
As a new council we have four years to work together to make the City of Prince Albert the best it has ever been.
I look forward to getting started with our new council and team of dedicated civic workers.
I Thank you the citizens of Prince Albert for you confidence and guidance.