St. Albert’s mayoral race has officially begun, with Coun. Cam MacKay announcing his candidacy Tuesday.
In a news release sent to the Gazette, MacKay pledged to bring common sense judgment and principle to the mayor’s office.
The 40-year-old councillor is a long-time resident of St. Albert. He has lived in the community for 32 years.
MacKay said he felt ready to take the leap from council to the mayor’s office after noticing the positive effect he’s had on the city during his past four years as councillor.
He is vying for the job held by Mayor Nolan Crouse who announced earlier this year that he will not run again.
MacKay has served two consecutive terms on council. He was first elected in 2010 and has championed such initiatives as hiring an internal auditor, keeping taxes below 1.5 per cent and hiring a new city manager.
“I can see the positive things that are happening due to my influence and I think that for the coming term, I’m the best person for the job and the best person to serve our community,” he said.
In addition to his council duties, MacKay currently works as a business consultant for Subway. His past experience includes working as a budget officer for the provincial government and owning and operating a dog daycare and training centre in St. Albert.
MacKay also served as a radio operator in the Canadian Armed Forces during and immediately after completing his commerce degree at the University of Alberta.
MacKay said his work experience is uniquely suited to the role of mayor.
“I was in the army: I know how to take orders; I know how to give orders. I had my own business, so I know how to reach out to people and deal with their concerns. I know how to look at budgets and I know how to achieve objectives and get results,” he said.
MacKay’s campaign focuses on being a strong advocate for the residents and businesses of St. Albert, especially on the upcoming issues of transportation, annexation, taxation and large capital project decisions.
He said the number one issue facing St. Albert council is ensuring residents get good value for their taxes.
“We have a great place to live. We’re one of the best cities in Canada to live in. We have to make sure it’s affordable for everybody to live in,” he said.
MacKay said as mayor he would work hard to find efficiencies and build a climate that encourages new businesses to set up in St. Albert, in an effort to ease the tax burden on residents.
He also wants to improve governance by ensuring everybody gets an equal say at council. He said as mayor he would act as a fair and impartial chairperson.
MacKay will be hosting a meet and greet event on Saturday in the Red Willow Park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 59 Sturgeon Road.
While MacKay is the first to announce he is running for mayor, he won’t be the only candidate. Councillor Cathy Heron is expected to enter the mayor’s race on Thursday.