Mark Cassidy to run for council

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The candidate list for St. Albert’s municipal election continues to grow as another candidate has announced his intention to run for council.

Mark Cassidy, 56, is a familiar face in St. Albert after 32 years as a realtor. This week, Cassidy announced his candidacy.

Cassidy has lived in St. Albert since 1965 and has spent the past 10 years living in Grandin.  Cassidy said he comes from a family with a passion for politics and he wants to put that passion into practice.

“After 32 years, you want to proceed to live out some of your passions. Mine is moving into politics and serving our community,” he said.

If elected, Cassidy hopes to bring his experience as a negotiator to the council table. He also wants to have a part in the city’s future annexation plan.

Topping Cassidy’s list of issues to tackle if he’s elected is the spectre of a new branch library – a topic that has proved controversial at city hall. This summer, Cassidy joined a group of residents in gathering signatures for a petition against borrowing money for the project.

He describes himself as an advocate of a “no” vote to the project, which will appear as one of three questions on the ballot.

“When I’m interested in something, I get involved,” Cassidy said.

“More than anything, I’ve heard a lot from both sides of the argument, and looking at what they’re proposing I think they can fill the needs without having a stand-alone facility.”

Cassidy also plans to advocate for a phase-out of photo radar over the next eight years, coupled with an increase in community policing. He points to deficiencies in photo radar, such as its inability to stop distracted drivers or people with warrants.

“I think the extra cost for safety in our community is a value,” he said.

Twinning Ray Gibbon Drive, establishing planning committees and managing municipal maintenance such as snow removal, grass cutting and street cleaning are also on Cassidy’s list.

Cassidy will be running against Sandyne Beach-McCutcheon, Al Bohachyk, Wes Brodhead, Jan Butler, Craig Cameron, Jacy Eberlein, Jacqui Hansen, Sheena Hughes, Charlene Jelinski, Natalie Joly, Mark Kay, Ken MacKay, Ufuoma Odebala-Fregene, Hannes Rudolph, Bob Russell, Steve Stone, Tash Taylor, Jaye Walter and Barry Zukewich. Current councillors Cathy Heron and Cam MacKay have launched mayoral campaigns, along with Malcolm Parker.

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