Hughes seeks second council term

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A third incumbent councillor has officially entered the race for city council.

Sheena Hughes announced her candidacy Wednesday.

Hughes, 45, was first elected in 2013 and has lived in St. Albert since 1977. She grew up in Lacombe Park and Deer Ridge and now lives in Akinsdale with her husband, raising three children.

Before her election, Hughes spent six years on the St. Albert Community League board and worked for the provincial government for five years. She has also owned her own business.

Hughes said she decided to announce her candidacy after learning council would be reviewing the wording of a plebiscite question related to the building of a new library branch.

“It became very clear to me that we need to make sure we have representation in council of people who want to respect the will of the public … and not just tell them what to do,” she said.

She also has some unfinished business at the council table, namely the restoration of a utility funding model she says was changed in 2015.

“(Council) created a tax increase through our water bill, and I would like to restore the funding model to take that increase out,” she said.

“I’ve been trying to get this reversed since it was implemented, but I intend to continue until this correction has been made.”

Hughes wants to make sure any new tax increases are carefully considered. She supports a transit review, which would look at how the city can improve its service for how much it charges.

“What I’ve been dedicated to is making sure we have value for tax dollars, that the solutions we have are realistic (and) affordable,” she said.

In her last term, Hughes says she is proud of her efforts to keep tax increases to a minimum and to funnel money toward essential infrastructure. She points to a drainage bylaw, which she brought forward to council in 2014, as one of her successes.

Hughes is running for one of six seats on city council. Other candidates include Sandyne Beach-McCutcheon, Al Bohachyk, Wes Brodhead, Craig Cameron, Jacy Eberlein, Jacqui Hansen, Charlene Jelinski, Natalie Joly, Mark Kay, Ken MacKay, Ufuoma Odebala-Fregene, Hannes Rudolph, Bob Russell, Jaye Walter, Steve Stone and Barry Zukewich. Current councillors Cathy Heron and Cam MacKay have launched mayoral campaigns.

Nomination day is Sept. 18 and the election will be held Oct. 16.

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