While the results of Edmonton’s civic election Monday were disappointing in some respects, they were quite positive in others.
On Monday I talked about my choices for Edmonton city council, mayor and Edmonton Public School Board. Unfortunately only one of my three choices was successful.
It was a tough, bitter and divisive campaign with the Edmonton City Centre Airport being probably the biggest issue of the entire campaign.
Should it have been? I don’t think so. I think taxes, a new arena and the LRT are far bigger issues going forward, but leave it to a special interest group to hijack the entire election for their own purposes. I know we haven’t heard the last of this issue.
City council and the Edmonton Public School Board should also be working together on the issue of school closures.
City Council – Ward 7 Scott McKeen
I actively campaigned for Scott McKeen and unfortunately he fell short. I have to give Scott a lot of credit for his positive campaign, positive vision and putting together a great campaign team in a short period of time.
The incumbent won with 7,138 votes to Scott’s 5,269. My hope is that there will be another run, but only time will tell. I truly believe that Scott McKeen had the best vision for Ward 7 and I think city council could certainly adopt some of his ideas.
His ideas have certainly provoked me to look at my community association in a new light. Thank you for running Scott. It was an honour and a privilege to work with you on your campaign. Good luck in your future endeavours!
Public School Board trustee – Ward B
Unfortunately the candidate I chose for Ward B came in dead last. I really liked Darryl Lagerquist’s platform. I will be keeping an eye on the incumbent for the next three years though. I am not sure how many people who voted for him are aware of his voting to close schools. Perhaps they’ll be more aware in this next school review when he votes to close their school.
I think school closures are a critical issue in Edmonton and one that our new city council should be much more active in combatting. With flawed decision criteria, EPSB can destroy neighbourhoods with their decisions. EPSB can blame the province for flawed criteria, and no doubt the government of Alberta can take a large portion of the blame for crappy legislation and education underfunding.
One of Scott McKeen’s main planks in his platform was halting urban sprawl. School closures are really a direct result of sprawl as development occurs mainly on the outside edges of the city while older schools at the center of Edmonton languish. School closures in older Edmonton neighbourhoods will only accelerate the sprawl as residents evacuate Edmonton’s core looking for newer schools they’re sure won’t close.
Edmonton mayor – Stephen Mandel
Stephen Mandel was re-elected with a handy majority. As I stated before, if there had been another worthy candidate for mayor, I would have voted that way. Mandel was the best choice this time.
One would hope that Mandel’s resounding victory would put the City Centre Airport to rest, but that’s not going to stop Envision Edmonton from suing the city or newly elected Ward 11 city councilor Kerry Diotte from pushing for an airport plebiscite. If this were Wheel of Fortune, the first three letters I’d choose are: W T F.
It’s time to move forward and make sure the development is all above board and strictly in the best interests of Edmontonians. Perhaps Kerry Diotte and Envision Edmonton didn’t get the message that all the incumbents won in Monday’s election.
Voter turnout was a disappointing 34.3 per cent for 2010, but it was an improvement over the 27.24 per cent voter turnout in 2007.
I feel positive about Edmonton’s future, and the next three years ought to be very interesting.