by Colin Smith
Barry Turner is making a bid for another term as Morinville’s Mayor.
He announced Tuesday, Aug. 17 that he has filed to run again, having served as Mayor for the past four years.
The date for the Morinville Council election is October 18.
Turner has lived in Morinville for more than three decades, and he and his wife Selena have raised three children here.
He has served a total of five terms on Council, first being elected in 1995.
In the announcement of his candidacy, Turner pointed to Council’s accomplishments in the past term as including the opening of the Morinville Leisure Centre (MLC), establishing a recreation cost-sharing agreement with the county, building a framework for regional collaboration through the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board, and a responsible and effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the current campaign, Turner is using the slogan “Sustainable, Collaborative, Community,” intended to reflect a firm stance on protecting Morinville’s quality of life.
A key element in this is increasing commercial and industrial taxes to bring them in line with the regional median and reduce the tax burden on residents.
Responding earlier to questions from Morinville Online, Turner said that working toward long-term financial stability for the community will be the upcoming Council’s biggest challenge.
“Work to bring both residential and non-residential rates to the median in the region is absolutely necessary to ensure sustainability into the future,” he stated at the time. “From a residential standpoint, tax rates are high when compared to other communities in the region and this needs to change. From a non-residential standpoint, taxes are low compared to other communities in the region.
“Finding the right balance is key to ensuring revenues will support a thriving community, while taxation is comparable to other communities.”
He also identified other priorities including planning for the next phase of the MLC, bringing not-for-profit groups together and community safety.
“As we continue to grow, traffic and pedestrian safety has and will become increasingly important.”
Also important for the future is continuing along the collaborative path of truth and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, specifically Morinville’s neighbours at Alexander First Nations, Turner believes.
Now that Morinville crossed the 10,000-population threshold, a consultation with residents about whether to apply for city status is also in the cards.
In his announcement, Turner noted taking the Local Democracy Pledge set out by the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA), which commits those seeking municipal office to keep elections local, maintain independence and non-partisanship, demonstrate transparency and engage in respectful behaviour.
More information on Turner’s campaign can be found at barryturner.ca.