Central Sturgeon County residents will see at least two names on their ballots this fall now that a Bon Accord man has stepped up to challenge incumbent Joe Milligan.
Patrick Tighe, 49, issued a release last week saying that he would run for Division 5 councillor this fall. Tighe owns First Ticket Printing in Edmonton and lives near Bon Accord.
Division 5 covers Morinville, Legal, Gibbons and Lily Lake.
Tighe said he decided to run because of his tax bill, which has risen about 85 per cent since 2007. “I do not think that is sustainable.” He criticized Coun. Milligan for not doing more to lower taxes or improve roads in his division.
“You can’t just dictate an increase every year in your revenue,” he said. “I want to look at running the county a little moreso like running a business.”
That would start with a staffing review to see if county employees could justify their positions, he said, as he believed there was a lot of wasteful spending going on in administration.
When asked for specifics, Tighe said he would have to learn more about the county’s operations first. Still, he questioned why the transportation department needed all the equipment it had, and why the agricultural services department hired so many summer students.
As for taxes, he said, “I certainly don’t see why they couldn’t be reduced.”
Tighe said he wanted to see administration focus more on infrastructure and roads instead of “fires that are being handled perfectly fine” – a reference to the county’s new burning bylaw.
“It just seems there’s a never-ending number of rules (administration) are keeping in place.”
Tighe said his experience running a business and managing properties showed that he knew how to manage money. “I know how value affects the bottom line.” He had also coached soccer and been involved with the Sturgeon Composite High School grad committee.
The Gazette will profile other candidates as they step forward.