Morinville Council candidate profile: Joseph Trapani

By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – Former Morinville Town Councillor and mayoral candidate Joseph Trapani is once again seeking a seat on Council. Trapani ran against incumbent Mayor Lloyd Bertschi in 2010 and was defeated by a narrow margin. That loss removed Trapani from being a part of council. He is looking to take a run at mayor in the next election and feels a seat on Council will better prepare him for that future office.

“My intention is still to run for mayor in the next election,” he said. “I was thinking if I run in this bi-election for the Council, it’s going to leave me a chance to understand what’s going on this time around. That way, if I do win; if the people of Morinville decide to make me mayor, I will not be trying to learn the job in six months. I can move with the flow and just carry on.”

Trapani, who has served at town manager in five communities, said he sees several issues confronting Morinville presently. “I think our lack of businesses that are not coming in, the lack of knowledge of really what the Town is really supposed to be doing for the people, and are you getting the amount of service for what you are paying in your taxes,” he said. “I believe Morinville is an excellent place to live. It’s just a matter of telling the world that we exist.”

The candidate feels economic development and community promotion should go concurrently with current planning work being done, including the Coeur de Morinville and Highway 642 Functional Study plans.

Trapani said he would work with Council and the private sector to work as one team on improving the looks and needs of the community in terms of attracting new business to town. “Some businesses wish to come and some businesses do not wish to come,” he said. “Let’s not make it so hard for them to come here. Every municipality has rules and regulations on what you can build and what you can’t build. This Council gave an incentive to people to come here and build. I don’t think the incentive has been told all over the place. The way I think I’d solve it is communication and more advertising.”

Despite seeing a need to increase the residential tax split beyond its current 93 per cent residential / 7 per cent business split, Trapani said he has no top priorities if he is elected.

The candidate said he thinks the current Council is doing good work despite a couple mishaps, namely the cost over runs on Town and the low revenues generated by Morinville’s $11 million Community Cultural Centre.

“Hopefully we can overcome these mishaps,” he said. “One thing I want to do is work hard to get back the … confidence of the people of Morinville that Council are doing their job and they are not just here wasting their time.”

Trapani said he does not have a major campaign planned for his Council seat bid, largely just talking to residents. “I’m going to do what I did before when I was running for mayor and Council before, just telling them who I am and what I can bring. Hopefully the people of Morinville will make their decision of all the candidates.”

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