by Jennifer Lavallee
Morinville News Correspondent
Life-long Morinville resident, Scott Richardson, says he’s ready to throw his name in the hat during the upcoming municipal election this fall. Hoping to secure a spot as councillor, Richardson said he very nearly ran during the last election, in 2013, but eventually decided against it because of his job at the time, which was with Alberta Municipal Affairs.
“[When it came down to it], I didn’t want there to appear to be any conflicts of interest because of my job,” he said. This time around, though, nothing was standing in his way. “I got really serious about running again about a year ago,” he noted.
Like many of the candidates, Richardson stressed he’s not running on one particular issue, but instead wants to look at the entire breadth of what Morinville residents will need from their Council.
Richardson said growing the commercial and industrial tax base is going to be a major task over the next four-years for councillors. “I’d like to see us bring new businesses to town; ideally, we need to get in a mix of small businesses while still attracting bigger business as well.”
How the Town’s new recreation centre is going to come together, in terms of paying for it, is something Richardson said Council is going to have to make some big decisions on right away, especially if it involves tax payer dollars. “I think on the list of things that needs to be [sorted out], we have to address that so it’s not a burden on people.”
Promoting recreation within the Town is something near-and-dear to the candidate’s heart; Richardson is the owner of Morinville Sports Ltd., is the President of Morinville Minor Baseball (a position he’s been in for three years), and is involved in the Sturgeon Hockey Club as both a coach and on the executive as the Novice Director.
“I’d like to see the Town bring in more free rec. type things for people,” he said, giving examples such as new tennis courts, increased walking paths, and basketball hoops. “Our population is growing, but we’ve lost three baseball diamonds in the last ten-years, for example…we need to get a plan in place to start rebuilding [amenities] like that.”
Richardson said his diverse background—which is part contract management, part occupational health and safety, part risk management, and part business owner—will be an asset to Council if he is elected. “I know policies and procedures, and I think I’d be a great asset. I’ve worked on contracts that range from $100,000 to a million dollars…I’ve seen and [reviewed] thousands of contracts, and know what to look for.” As a business owner, and as the dad to four kids, he also explained that he understands budgets well and what kind of work is required to prepare them effectively.
At the end of the day, said Richardson, he wants the best for the people of Morinville.