Categories: Local News

Mark Cassidy running for council

Mark Cassidy

A St. Albert realtor is taking a second run at a city council seat.

Mark Cassidy, 54, has been in business in St. Albert for 30 years and living in the area for 50.

Cassidy ran for council in 2013.

“I hope to add some experience to council with respect to my profession. In my profession we deal with transparency and I hope to add clarity so we have proper growth of the city,” Cassidy said.

Cassidy, who has a family with four children, said the city has a 25-year plan in place for growth. As part of that growth he wants to see St. Albert be a place where people of all ages can live.

“We’d like it to be all-inclusive,” Cassidy said, adding it would be sad to see St. Albert lose any part of its demographics.

But more than anything, he’d like to see growth here, with the “Employment Lands” built out along with some planning for the future impacts of more employment and more residents on things like ensuring the roads are ready for the extra population.

“Some of the concerns with people right now are the fact that we’re growing rapidly and we have to prepare for the demand that’s placed on the city,” Cassidy said.

He wants to stick to the long-term plans but wants checks and balances to make sure that growth wouldn’t mean a large burden on the taxpayers.

For example, when it comes to downtown parking plans, Cassidy wants to see the development of parking in a way that will accommodate the near future demands while being easily expandable for the future, instead of building something that would have to be torn down at a greater cost.

“There’s nothing worse than having to rip things apart and do them over, it would be a lot more expensive. So good proper planning will make economical sense going forward,” Cassidy said.

He thinks the downtown area redevelopment plan will help create a vibrant community, but the extra density will add people who need to be accommodated with services and infrastructure, he said.

When it comes to the funding of utility capital projects, he wants to keep an eye on the economy when it comes to the planned phase-out of a provincial grant from capital utility projects.

Utility bills effect everybody, he said, including St. Albert’s most vulnerable.

“I would look at revisiting it depending on the economic climate,” he said.

Cassidy has been a volunteer coach, is a member of the chamber of commerce and through his realty business has volunteered and donated money for the Stollery Children’s Hospital.

He’s also concerned about rail safety and the transport of dangerous goods through the community.

If he’s elected to council, he said being a realtor has helped him develop a thick skin he’d need to be a politician.

People need more clarity, he said.

“There seems to be more a demand for transparency at all levels of government,” he said.

Cassidy also would like to see council deal with their dissention differently.

“I would like to see it more of a business-like environment, that’s what I hope to bring to the table,” Cassidy said.

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