Candidate: Ray Watkins

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Running for: St. Albert City Council
Years resident in community: 17 years
Neighbourhood: Regency
Age: 60
Family status: Separated
Education: Bachelor of Arts Honour Geography in Urban Studies 
Current Occupation: Land use planner/developer
Email: ray@watkinsland.ca
Website: www.votewatkins.ca
FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/voteraywatkins
Twitter: www.twitter.com/landdeveloperab

Q: What was your primary motivation to seek elected office?
I am a believer in giving back to your community whether it be your church, school or city. I am also a strong proponent of “putting up or shutting up.” As a citizen I was concerned about the inability of our council to work together as one team and the constant negative storyline in the press. My 35 years of working with municipalities have provided me with a skill set that will allow me to hit the ground running and be an effective, productive, representative for the people of St. Albert.

Q: What skills and experiences have prepared you for this office?
Bachelor of Arts, Honours Geography in Urban Studies
35 years working for and with Municipalities building communities
Public, private and not for profit work experience
Thorough knowledge of the Municipal Government Act
Expert in the field of land use planning, including but not limited to land use bylaws, municipal development plans, area structure plans, and subdivisions
Managed multi-million dollar construction projects
Past member and chairman of the City of Edmonton Subdivision and Development Appeal Board.
Past chairman and board member of the Urban Development Institute Edmonton chapter
Past chairman and member of the St. Albert Economic Development Advisory Committee

Q: What do you think are the most important issues to the community?
Residents are tired of the constant infighting amongst councillors and the mayor and want a cohesive effective group of elected officials that work together for the good of St. Albert’s residents and ratepayers. Among the important issues are: the efficient and effective provision of municipal facilities including but not limited to libraries, aquatic facilities, and arenas; transportation issues such as the synchronization of St. Albert Trail lights; funding for Ray Gibbon Drive; and transit scheduling and availability. Other important issues are crimes of property such as break and enters of cars and vehicles; the growing drug problem; reducing wasteful spending; and the municipalities continued reliance on photo radar.

Q: What specific goals will you work to achieve if elected?
I will advocate for two council committees, one for millennials and one for seniors.
Ensure I don’t do things to divide council.
Conduct myself in a way that creates one team as opposed to two.
Work with the citizens to address needs regarding facilities such as pools, arenas, sports fields and libraries.
Seek funding from the province for the construction of additional lanes on Ray Gibbon Drive.
Work with the RCMP to address issues of crimes of property and drugs.
Propose land use bylaw amendments to facilitate affordable housing.

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