Ladouceur bows out; Hall tags in

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Morinville residents might have two Marvellous Moms and no Ladouceurs on council this fall now that two more candidates have announced their plans for the upcoming election.

Morinville Coun. Rob Ladouceur announced on his Facebook page Friday that he would not seek re-election this fall.

“I’ve got young girls, and I think I need to take some time and focus on my family for the next while,” he said in an interview.

Morinville’s Marvellous Moms co-founder Sarah Hall, meanwhile, announced Monday that she would run for councillor next month.

Hall said that she made her decision to run back in May, just a month before fellow Marvellous Moms co-founder Rebecca Balanko, by coincidence, also decided to run.

“We kind of laughed about it,” Hall said.

“I’m really happy she’s running. I think she’d make a fabulous councillor as well.”

Ladouceur’s out

First elected in 2013, Ladouceur squeezed into office after a recount found he beat candidate Jackie Luker by five votes. His four years on town council have had him addressing contentious issues such as school sites, the regional rec-centre, and the photo radar plebiscite.

“It was really rewarding to be able to serve my community,” he said, but his day-job made attendance at council meetings a challenge. Many of the decisions he faced were also bigger and tougher than he expected.

Ladouceur said he enjoyed literally serving the public at parades and pancake breakfasts and was proud to have helped build the town’s new rec-centre.

He encouraged anyone who was thinking about running for council to do so, provided they were prepared to put in the 10 to 20 hours a week needed to do the job right.

“Serving your community is an absolutely fantastic thing. It gives you a really great sense of pride and ownership.”

Ladouceur said he might consider running again in a few terms.

“I very much enjoyed it, and it’s a tough decision, actually, to not run.”

Mayor Lisa Holmes and councillors Brennan Fitzgerald and Gord Putnam are also not running for re-election.

Hall’s in

Hall, 38, has lived in Morinville since 2010 and has most recently been in the spotlight as chair of the school council for Morinville Public School, which successfully lobbied the province for a new junior/senior high school in town.

Hall is an administrator with and co-founder of the 2,000-some strong Morinville’s Marvellous Moms Facebook group, which rallies residents in support of families in need, and a member of the International Women’s Day committee for St. Albert and Sturgeon County. As president of the Morinville Art Club, she has worked with local businesses to give artists new opportunities to showcase their work.

Hall said her time with the Morinville public school council showed that she could be an effective voice for change.

“I really like rallying people for a good cause,” she said, and she had a proven track record of working well with others.

“As a mom in Morinville, and we are the main demographic here, I just feel we need a voice.”

If elected, Hall said she would seek to have council actually implement many of the parks plans and other documents it had sitting on the shelf, as doing so would address many community needs. She would also move to have East Boundary Road upgraded to better connect South Glens residents to downtown, and would re-examine land development policies to discourage developers from leaving their projects half-finished.

Candidates who wish to run in the Oct. 16 Morinville election must get their nomination papers to town council chambers at St. Germain Place between 10 a.m. and noon this Sept. 18. Call returning officer Holly Rogoschewsky at 780-939-7863 for details.

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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.