Morinville – Former mountie, federal government employee and current fire and explosion investigator Kevin Wedick was the final person to file nomination papers Thursday. The 52-year-old has lived in Morinville off and on for more than 30 years but has been in the community uninterrupted since 1994.
Wedick said he was motivated to run for office from a combination of long-time interest in municipal politics and concerns with some things in the community.
“I’ve been in Council Chambers a few times in relation to the photo radar program, also in relation to some of the overspending I see going on,” he said. “It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for quite some time. A number of people have asked me to consider the position.”
The candidate said he realizes he has much to learn and accepts there are competent people in the positions currently. Still, he has his concerns and said he sees a Council seat as an opportunity to learn more about municipal politics and to have a better insight.
“There have been a number of concerns. Certainly the Cultural Centre has been a big issue with a lot of the area residents with respect to the noise levels and certainly the location. There’s nothing we can do about it. It is where it is.”
Wedick said there are also concerns about the money spent on Town Hall and the location of solar panels for fountains in the community. “Nobody was consulted about where they put the solar panels,” he said. “They put it in an area that is predominantly shade. So you are looking at a pump that kicks in for a little bit, then as soon as the sun covers up the panels, it’s not working.”
He sees the pumps and panels as a minor issue to that of photo radar, a subject he has written several articles about in local media. “Not knowing all the specific details of the [photo radar] contract, I have concerns if the contract has been based on the service provider being paid strictly on the number of tickets written versus other municipalities that are paid contracts by the municipalities,” he said. “I’ve actually researched the other municipalities: St. Albert, the area of Devon, the City of Edmonton. They are all paid contracts. So they have a control over where the enforcement is being done, whether or not tickets are being generated or not generated. In this community it appears to me, from my observations and my experience in law enforcement, that the areas of enforcement that it’s being conducted in is inappropriate. They’re working transition zones as people are leaving town.”
Beyond the issues he is personally concerned with, he said he recognizes some good work has been done by council, including the water park and town beautification initiatives.
Wedick said he does not have a top priority should he be elected. “It’s a short term of 18 months,” he said. “It’s going to be an incredible learning curve. I’m going in fairly green and admittedly so. There are areas I am personally concerned about, but they may be justified once I get in and get to hear various members of Council and look at the process and see what has happened. There’s going to be the learning curve going in.”
Wedick has served as president of Morinville Minor Hockey over the years and coached soccer from junior to high school level over the years. He is presently not involved in any groups of committees within town. He is married with five children.
He feels his approachability and skills as a listener are assets in his bid for a Council seat. “If I am elected, I am going to be accountable to the people that I serve and I’ll listen,” he said. “I love the Town of Morinville. It is why I’ve come back throughout my career three times to make this home.”