First candidate for council declares
Ted Durham wants city to make better spending decisions
By: Peter Boer
| Posted: Saturday, Mar 23, 2013 06:00 am
The first candidate for St. Albert municipal election has publicly declared.
Ted Durham, a 21-year St. Albert resident and petroleum sales manager for UFA, declared Thursday his intent to seek a seat on city council on Oct. 21.
“Clearly the way the direction of council is going and all this spending we’re doing, there are people looking for change and I am one of them,” Durham said.
Of particular concern are city spending and rising property taxes, said Durham. He said the city is sinking further into debt, something he doesn’t agree with.
“I wonder what the reasoning is behind all this,” Durham said. “It’s great to want a lot of things but we have to be reasonable about what we spend. I think we’re putting a lot of stress on residents of St. Albert with what we are doing.”
Specifically, Durham cited the city’s decision to spend $500,000 on a study on where an LRT line through St. Albert would run, a recent proposal by city administration to spend up to $29 million on expanding Servus Credit Union Place and establishing the $40-million Capital Partnership Program as missteps by the current council.
“I think the city needs to be more fiscally responsible and I think I’m a person who understands that.”
Other areas of spending concern for Durham include the city’s downtown area redevelopment plan, more commonly known as DARP, which has been frequently criticized for what some believe is hundreds of millions of dollars in city spending, but which the city says is a planning document. He is also onside with residents of Lacombe Park, who held a town hall last week to protest construction of a mountain bike skills park at Liberton Park.
“I’m not opposed to a bike park but if they are going to build one, put it in a place that works for the residents of St. Albert.”
Durham will speak publicly Tuesday night at a meeting of the St. Albert Taxpayers’ Association. The association says it is giving every candidate in the coming election time to speak to the public at its meetings.
Durham said he has been a member of the advocacy group in the past but is not currently a member.
“I stay in touch there and some people might think they are radical; they’re not. They’re individuals that care about their community.”
Durham is married to his wife Val, who is a teacher. He has three children – Kristen, a nurse at the Sturgeon Community Hospital, Daniel, a student at Mount Royal University and Alex, a student at the University of Alberta.
Voters in October will select six councillors and one mayor and, for the first time, will elect candidates for four-year terms instead of three.