Leonard Wilkins announces first council bid

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Leonard Wilkins, 53, is starting his campaign for St. Albert city council.

Wilkins has experience in sales, finance and telecommunications and has spent the past 22 years in the city. He currently lives in Heritage Lakes.

The father of three says he decided to run because he is tired of seeing money spent on unnecessary projects.

“I see way too much taxpayers’ money being spent,” he said, pointing to the traffic circle near City Hall as one example.

Instead, Wilkins wants to see the city put money toward capital projects that could benefit families and residents.

“We do need to provide for our children’s future via an additional library (and) swimming pool where more swimming lessons can be taught,” he said. He’s also in favour of another sheet of ice being installed.

On that topic, Wilkins says he would like to see planning for a multipurpose facility in the northwest corner of the city, pending the results of a ballot vote on three capital projects.

Also on his list of issues to tackle is the widening of Ray Gibbon Drive. He wants to see the city chip in for the first portion, which could encourage the province to cover the remaining costs.

“If we start widening it at the south end and we work our way north, we can make it affordable,” he said.

If elected, he believes his background in sales will help him make a push for a growth in business within the city, which he said would in turn help keep residential taxes down.

“That skill set is particularly important when we try to attract new businesses and industry,” he said.

“Without new businesses in St. Albert, new industry, I think the personal taxes on the homeowners are going to continue to go up if we want to keep adding more services.”

Wilkins is running for one of six city council seats. Other candidates include Sandyne Beach-McCutcheon, Al Bohachyk, Wes Brodhead, Jan Butler, Craig Cameron, Gilbert Cantin, Mark Cassidy, Jacy Eberlein, Jacquie Hansen, Sheena Hughes, Charlene Jelinski, Natalie Joly, Shayne Kawalilak, Mark Kay, Ken MacKay, Ufuoma Odebala-Fregene, Nestor Petriw, Hannes Rudolph, Bob Russell, Steve Stone, Tash Taylor, Jaye Walter, Ray Watkins and Barry Zukewich.

Cathy Heron, Cam MacKay and Malcolm Parker are running for mayor.

The election will be held Oct. 16.

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