Boutestein kicks off campaign

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"I love being part of the community"

A Morinville councillor says she hopes to bring in a ward system if she’s re-elected this fall.

Morinville Coun. Nicole Boutestein said last week that she plans to run for office again this fall. It would be her second term as councillor if she were re-elected.

“I love being part of the community,” said Boutestein, 44, and she loved her work as a councillor. “I want to see Morinville grow.”

A yearbook consultant with Jostens Canada, Boutestein said she was proud of her work as the council representative on the project review committee for the recently completed Highway 642 functional planning study.

Right now, she noted, businesses need approval from both the town and the province if they want to do anything on 100 Ave., which has stymied many projects in the past. The Hwy. 642 plan removes this stumbling block by removing the need for provincial approval.

“There’s no more hurdle for them to jump over,” Boutestein said. “As soon as Alberta Transportation signs off on that plan and it goes to the minister and he signs off on it, we are free to build.” This plan will be a major driver in the town’s future economic growth, she predicted, and should help fill in those vacant lots on main street.

Boutestein also spoke about her work with the local library board, which is working to make the town’s library self-sufficient, and her request in the last budget to add picnic tables and cook stoves to the local fish and game pond. “That is a beautiful area of town we have, and I think it’s time to be proud of it.”

Boutestein pitched herself as a “councillor” rather than a “politician.” “I have no desire to be mayor,” she said, which means she can ask the everyday questions that everyone’s curious about, without fear of political repercussions. “I am the resident’s voice.”

In addition to keeping up momentum on economic development, Boutestein said she hoped to introduce a ward system to council. “Right now, I don’t think people know whom they should contact (on council),” she said.

A ward system would help councillors work closer with residents, Boutestein said. One ward per councillor would be a bit much given the town’s size, she agreed – four might be more appropriate. She also hoped to have councillors rotate wards every two years.

The town hall renovations, photo radar, community cultural centre debenture payments and economic development would probably be on voters’ minds during this campaign, Boutestein predicted.

Boutestein said people should vote for her because she’s an open, honest member of the community. “I am here for them.”

The Gazette will profile other candidates as they come forward.

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Kevin Ma

Kevin Ma joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2006. He writes about Sturgeon County, education, the environment, agriculture, science and aboriginal affairs. He also contributes features, photographs and video.