| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 06:00 am
Budgeting responsibly is one council candidate's primary objective in the 2013 Morinville election.
After 27 years as logistics officer in the Canadian Forces, and three years as financial officer with the Morinville Community Library Board, Brent Henry says he knows a thing or two about how to move around big budgets responsibly.
“I became very in tune with money and how it flows and how it's spent and tracking expenditures,” he says. “And that is one of the biggest things that concerns me or has interested me with the town.”
The 48-year-old father of two and his wife Kim have lived in Morinville for 10 years. Currently employed as a nursing operations management advisor for Health Canada, Henry says he was responsible for managing budgets up to $200 million in the past – experience that will come in handy if he's elected.
After following council discussions closely in recent years, he says he noticed a lack of transparency in expenditure decisions. The town has spent a lot of money on hiring new staff in recent years, he says – money that is not sustainable in the long run. Council also has big decisions coming up on infrastructure, some of which he would like to make sure Morinville can afford, he says.
Henry wants to ask more direct questions to administration and also inform the public better about discussions held behind closed doors. Taxpayers have not heard the details on certain decisions in the past, he says, which can lead to questions about council's credibility.
“For example, people in Morinville say we need a pool. I am all for that as long as we've done the work and made sure we can afford it,” he says. “And if we haven't done that work and we are not sure, well then, we need to go back and confirm.”
While he cannot promise to minimize all tax increases, he says he will do his best at explaining the reasoning behind possible tax hikes. He adds that he is a good communicator and team player who knows when it's best to lead, when to follow, and when to ask the tough questions.