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Incumbents swing into Morinville race

Morinville residents will see a lot of familiar faces on ballots this fall, as most of the incumbent councillors plan another run.

Five of the six current councillors plan to run again for their seat in the fall campaign. Only Coun. Joe Gosselin will not seek another term on council.

Gosselin said he simply believes he has been in the job long enough.

“I have done it for six years. I think it is time for someone else to step up and volunteer their time for the community.”

Mayor Lloyd Bertschi remains officially on the fence about his political future, but has said he expects to announce his decision in a few weeks.

Gosselin said he would like to see the mayor get off the fence because people need to know if he is running so they can make their own decisions.

“I think it is irresponsible of the mayor not to announce yet.”

Coun. Donna Phinney said she wants to return for a third term because she enjoys the work and has more she would like to accomplish.

“I still enjoy it and I still want to have a say in my community,” he said. “My work is not done yet.”

Four-term councillor Paul Krauskopf will try to make it five in the fall with another run. He said he wants to make sure the town continues to grow and keeps it on an even keel.

“I was born and raised in Morinville and I am concerned about how Morinville is growing. I think we are doing it at a good pace and I want to see it remain that way.”

Krauskopf said he is also concerned about the business community in town, noting some have recently closed shop. He said they are important to keep a stable tax base and a strong community.

“You have to try and keep businesses in town and also expand on them.”

The three first term councillors have decided they want another run as well.

Coun. Gordon Boddez said council has been a steep learning curve and he will be able to do more in his second term than he did before.

“As you get into it more you start to see areas that you can contribute more to.”

He said he wants to keep the community moving on a path of steady growth and doesn’t want to see Morinville slide back to a no-growth scenario. He also wants to see the community improve its relationship with Sturgeon County.

“We have a lot of work to do to develop a viable relationship with Sturgeon County and it is an important relationship for Morinville, as well as for Sturgeon County.”

Coun. Joe Trapani will also be seeking a sophomore term and said he is also concerned about the relationship between the two communities.

Trapani said he is passionate about the town and wants to continue to stay involved.

“I have a strong interest in the town and I believe in the town and I want to put it back on the map.”

He said he wants to work on low cost housing and look at the idea of bringing a pool to the community.

Coun. Ben Van De Walle was unavailable for comment Tuesday, but several other councillors confirmed he plans to be in the race.

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