Russell seeks another term on council

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A second incumbent councillor has jumped into the city council race.

Bob Russell has announced his intention to seek another term on council.

The 86-year-old was elected in the by-election in 2015 and came in first with almost double the votes as the second place finisher. Russell first ran for St. Albert council in 1986 and was not elected but by 1989 he was elected to city council.

Russell said that he has a passion for politics and that is what keeps him coming back. So far he has served four terms on city council.

“I really enjoy it and I work hard at it,” Russell said.

During his most recent term as a councillor, Russell is most proud of his work to establish a policing committee, earlier publishing of the council agenda and his work to review the history of the hiring practices that led to a sitting city councillor being hired to a senior city position.

Russell said he wants to run again because he still has many things he wants to accomplish. He wants to update the municipal development plan (MDP), establish a municipal planning commission (MPC) and tackle issues of affordable housing.

The councillor said that he wants to see more housing diversity in the city to allow for residents in all stages of their lives to live in St. Albert. He said he would like to see some smaller homes on the market for young families or for seniors who are downsizing

Russell also has a passion for the environment. The one time Big Lake Environmental Support Society president wants to see the city preserve the Sturgeon River.

“If we go in and annex part of the Sturgeon River valley I want to make sure we can protect that river valley. If we don’t we are going to lose the river,” Russell said.

Russell is the second incumbent to enter the race for city council. Councillor Wes Brodhead launched his campaign last week.

Current councillors Cathy Heron and Cam MacKay have launched campaigns to run for mayor.

Others who have thrown their hats in the ring for city council are Natalie Joly, Craig Cameron, Jacy Eberlein, Hannes Rudolph, Al Bohachyk, Jaye Walter, Sandyne Beach-McCutcheon and Ufuoma Odebala-Fregene.

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

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Jennifer Henderson

Jennifer Henderson joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2016. She writes about municipal, provincial and federal politics; court and crime; general news and features.