Climenhaga seeks council seat

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Emphasizes environment, regional planning

David Climenhaga is going to take another run at a seat on city council.

The chair of the St. Albert Public Library board and former chair of the community committee that organized the 2009 St. Albert Special Olympic Games announced Wednesday he will again run for council.

“I have some issues I am concerned about that are of interest to me and as a resident I want to see council balance the good services we have with the responsibility to taxpayers,” said Climenhaga. “I think there are groups in our society that go too far in either direction.”

Climenhaga ran for council in 2007 and finished just outside of a seat on council, finishing in eighth pace for one of the seven coveted seats.

“I think that I certainly learned the value of door-knocking (in 2007),” Climenhaga said. “I think last time I lost about 15 pounds knocking on people’s doors. And I think I learned the value of a campaign based on ideas.”

Besides fulfilling the role of champion for the library on council, which he said is needed, Climenhaga wants to see more work in regional planning and the city do more with respect to environmental initiatives.

“I don’t want to be really extreme about that. We need to make environmental thinking part of the decision-making process.”

With respect to the library, Climenhaga is closing in on the end of his second three-year term as board chair. He said it might be hidden from residents who visit the library, but the public institution is very much in need of more space. He wants to set up a branch somewhere else in the city, but on a more affordable scale than has been proposed in previous years.

“The plan in 2008 was too expensive and elaborate. There are maybe some creative things we can do even just within the building. There has to be some engagement and commitment by council and a perceived need for people that use the library.”

Climenhaga emphasized he wants to be a team player on council, but not at the expense of his principles.

“I want to be, and I think I’m good at being, a team player. But I don’t want to be a patsy or push over,” Climenhaga said.

Climenhaga works as a communications advisor for United Nurses of Alberta and writes the political blog Albertadiary.ca. He has worked as a journalist for both the Globe and Mail and the Calgary Herald.

Besides Climenhaga, Gareth Jones, Tim Osborne, Sheena Hughes and Ted Durham have announced they will be running for a council spot.

Election day is Oct. 21.

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