A new candidate who’s ready to research and investigate before making decisions has entered the council race.
Hughena Burke, 46, has announced she will be running for city council in the upcoming election. “I want to be involved in the decision making process,” Burke said.
In addition to experience as a small business owner and owning a commercial building, Burke spent years working in different ministries for the provincial government, acting as a front-line problem solver in a ministerial administrative position, often addressing questions coming in from the public.
“I enjoyed resolving issues,” she said. Burked worked in several different government departments, from aboriginal relations to infrastructure to finance to municipal affairs. Her experiences have given her insight into the process of government – insight she’s eager to use in St. Albert after getting a taste for politics through her work.
Burke has lived in the capital region area since 1981, and has one adult daughter and a granddaughter. She forecasted development, the environment, roads and light rail transit as potential hot topics in the election.
“I do believe in expansion but not at the expense of the environment,” Burke said. She said council needs to take time to gather facts, and in talking to people about the councillor’s role has learned you need to approach issues with an open mind to do the best thing for the community, not just enforce a personal viewpoint.
She’d like to see more businesses attracted to St. Albert for light industrial purposes, more commercial and even suggested St. Albert target government institutions or head offices to set up shop in the city. Burke also said she recognizes a need for more residential housing.
While she said previous and current iterations of council have done a good job for St. Albert, an area where she can help make things better is to take a good look at where money is being spent and ensure residents are getting value for their tax dollars.
Retaining seniors and looking at mobility for them in the community is another important concern. Community needs like youth initiatives are also on her platform list.
Burke said she sees collaboration between different levels of government and stakeholders as important and said she’s “willing to go the extra mile” when it comes to pursuing funds or opportunities for St. Albert.
Volunteer experience includes a stint as president of Community Day Nursery and she recently became an ambassador for multiple sclerosis, raising awareness about the disease. She also used to appear in a starring role for fundraisers.
“I used to impersonate Patsy Cline,” Burke said.