- The Western By-Pass
- Traffic Safety
- Quality of Existing Roads
- Public Transportation
- Relationships with Other Governments
- Surrounding Communities
- Annexation by Edmonton
- Public Safety
- Property Crime
- Drug Activity
- Traffic Safety
- Youth and Disabled Citizens’ Needs
- Affordable Housing
- City Hall and Library
- Multipurpose Leisure Centre
- Other Issues
- Property Taxes/Tax Base
- Land Use/Development
I personally believe that St. Albert is a unique community with a very
desirable quality of life and that the City must have a Mayor and Councillors
with vision, energy, and commitment to maintaining and improving our
current life style. I believe when faced with choices we must make them
with the fundamentals in mind of safety, security, freedom, affordability,
quality of life and family values.
Over the next several years St. Albert has the opportunity to transform
itself into a truly “sustainable community”- a community that improves
our quality of life, honors our commitment to the environment, and brings
recognition and opportunities to our city far beyond what we have seen
in the past. We need to clearly define what a “ sustainable community
of the future ” means for our citizens. This can only be done
by addressing the needs of the young, of the elderly, of those growing
up in our community, of those who wish to remain living in our community,
and of those who wish to move here. We need to better address the needs
of our seniors and the growing number of St. Albert residents who are
becoming seniors each year.
We need to review our existing infrastructure, the future infrastructure
and transportation requirements, while also being careful stewards of
our natural environment. We must always nurture and build relationships
with surrounding communities. They are our only neighbors, which means
a commitment to on-going communication and discussion.
Policy Statements: Transportation
With the Western By-Pass having received approvals, St.
Albert needs to proceed with construction and completion of the roadway.
At the same time, we need a review of our overall transportation strategy
and policy implementation. St. Albert cannot afford to ever again find
itself in a 20-year process of decision-making on a particular issue.
We require a “fast track” process for getting safety/traffic
lights installed in areas where local residents have identified a safety
concern. We must also continue the process of slowing down traffic speeds
within St. Albert, making our city an even safer place to live.
We must have a comprehensive review of the program for
repair and maintenance of our roadways and streets. There are some concerns
that we are not able to keep up with the maintenance requirements. The
infrastructure study currently being completed will form the basis for
We must review our public transportation – assessing whether
the needs of a growing St. Albert are being met. This is especially important
as trends in cities are indicating there is increasing reliance on public
transportation systems for people of all ages,
Policy Statements: Relationships with other Governments
St. Albert's council must move toward a “working together” approach
to resolving differences with our neighbors – the surrounding counties,
cities and municipalities. A confrontational approach can only result
in harm to the citizens of St. Albert and those of surrounding communities.
Restoring these relationships must be a priority.
St. Albert must oppose any process taken by the City of
Edmonton to begin an annexation plan of incorporating St. Albert into
The fundamental principles and specific direction areas
defined in the Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) are sound and should
continue to be the template for growth and development planning.
Policy Statements: Public Safety
- Policing and Law Enforcement:
- Property crimes in St. Albert are increasing at a rate
of 20% per year. We must find ways to reverse this trend. While we are
fortunate to have our policing needs provided by the RCMP, we need to
support those programs consistent with effective policing, law enforcement,
crime prevention and safety.
- Drug offenses have increased by 27% over the past year.
This trend threatens the true fabric of our community and requires additional
diligence to curb this activity.
- The continuing trend of traffic safety violations must
be maintained. A reduction of 16% of violations in this area over the
past year is encouraging.
Policy Statements: Facilities
If St. Albert is to maintain its desirable standard of living, our planning
and decision making for future facility requirements needs to be improved
and handled professionally.
- Youth and Disabled Citizen's Needs : In
a truly “sustainable community” we must provide for those “in need”.
Individuals in need are often required to seek emergency assistance in
Edmonton, which can isolate individuals from their friends, family, and
our community. This can be a prescription for failure and we need programs
to “help our own”. We must regularly assess the needs of all the associations
for disabled and review the needs for our communities' youth, in particular,
access to emergency support and shelter.
- Affordable Housing : City leadership must
understand that an affluent community and affordable housing are not
mutually exclusive. The sustainable St. Albert of the future embraces
the needs of all in our lifelong housing requirements. A comprehensive
study was completed by the Affordable Housing Advisory Board in August
2004 and the key recommendations within that report need to be assessed
and appropriately acted upon. Important elements of this will be adequate
land annexation, proper zoning plans, and development direction for a
variety of housing opportunities to close the gap in the housing continuum.
Issues such as entry-level housing and housing for seniors must be addressed.
- City Hall and Library : While certain
changes to City Hall may be required, if additional space is required
due to growing needs, we must review if it is possible to relocate some
current tenants to other locations. The Library, City Hall, and the vacated
RCMP building must all be assessed for use and need.
- Proposed Multipurpose Leisure Centre :
While I personally plan to vote YES to the plebiscite, the decision itself
is where it belongs - in the hands of the people. If the voters should
decide to vote to proceed with this facility, key issues need to be better
- We need to understand what the impact will be on property
taxes and for how long property owners are required to pay this tax.
- We need to fully understand what processes will be put
in place to ensure the Leisure Centre operates at an operating profit.
- We need to be more understanding of parking, access, egress
Policy Statements: Other Issues
Property Taxes/Tax Base:
- It is not possible to determine tax rates and the need
for an expanded tax base if we do not have a sufficient long term plan,
a commitment to improving our city, and a plan to create a truly sustainable
community. This planning, this commitment and this vision must come first.
It is certain that the trend of taxation is not sustainable and that
debt reduction is a key factor that must be planned for.
- Without an agreed-to plan, we will continue to ricochet
from one issue to another. As we develop a sustainable city, we need
to create a long-term plan that citizens understand and support, take
action against the plan, and keep all stakeholders informed of our progress.
Council must be committed to regularly communicating with the residents
of St. Albert and our neighbors more comprehensively.
- There is inadequate commercial zoning to sustain the growth
rate of St. Albert.
- We have the opportunity in St. Albert to commit our city
to being a truly “sustainable” community. This commitment will not only
improve our quality of life, it will bring recognition to the city and
opportunities to consult with other role model cities throughout North
America on how to best achieve these enviable conditions.
- I believe we must continue the process that has begun to
designate the Big Lake area as a Provincial Park. The opportunities in
this initiative are immense.
- I believe we must sustain and preserve the quality of the
Sturgeon River ecosystem.