August 2017

Steve Stone Announces Candidacy

Editor:

I am happy to announce my candidacy to faithfully serve you as a Councillor on the next St. Albert City Council.

As a St. Albert citizen for thirty seven years, I recognize that we have a lively community passion for good governance and fairness for all. I believe our Council has to be committed and dedicated to chart a course of Right Reason followed by Right Action.

Here are some areas where restoration is needed which, as a City Councillor, I will pursue:

Community Values:
· I believe in proper representation of people. Councillors are here to serve you, not the other way around.
· Our City’s slogan, Cultivate Life represents for me, the nurturing and healthy growth of the community, rooted in a secure and stable environment. This is my guiding principle.
· Taxpayers must have a voice in how tax dollars are spent. Vital questions need to be included on election ballots.
· Preserve and protect park space and greenspaces.



Responsible Spending:
· Improve the budgeting process. Expenditures must be explained and justified for each new period, starting from a ‘zero base’, rather than only requiring justification for adding to actual results from the preceding years.
· Every function within the City must be analyzed for necessity and cost. Develop an employee initiative bonus for identifying and effecting operating cost savings.
· Identify reasonable and valid business objectives.
· Review planned, expected and actual performance levels and set right priorities.

Professional Planning:
· Manage change through growth while preserving the integrity of neighbourhoods and respecting residential rezoning concerns.
· Establish long-range development goals to support anticipated community values and needs. This will eliminate costly patchwork fixes resulting from ‘kneejerk’ planning.
· Develop and follow-through with a concrete commitment to celebrate and honour our origins by preserving our local landmarks.
· Advocate for the twinning of Ray Gibbon Drive and completing its connection to Highway 2.


What are the credentials I have to serve you?
I have a life-long passion for serving others with many years of the right professional mix of business, financial and practical experience in working with a wide spectrum of people of many professions. Currently, I am a Director of a successful St. Albert company which I founded thirty two years ago, serving our customers and employees in St. Albert and the Capital Region. Prior to this, I held the position of Regional Manager – Western Canada, for a large international company supplying process controls to a wide spectrum of industrial plants. Before that, I worked with the Royal Bank as a Branch Accountant.

My wife Marilyn and I are blessed with 46 years of marriage, three children and nine grandchildren.
We are members of Holy Family Parish where I volunteer on the RCIA Team. I am also a volunteer mentor with St. Albert Sidekicks.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 780-257-1775 or votestevestone@shaw.ca

Steve Stone
St. Albert

There Is A Lot Of Work To Do

Editor:

As one who has lived in the community for quite a while, not bashful about engaging with community members about local issues, and dedicated to following the local and regional news as it arrives, I continue to be surprised with the consistency of what I am hearing as I visit door to door.

High taxation of residential properties is raised as the first ‘message to the city’ by, depending on the district, between 40% and 70% of those asked. Although a high percentage are generally very happy with the beauty and amenities, they also believe they don’t get the kind of service that justifies the taxes they pay. This is more prevalent in condominium developments where they resent paying for some basic services (like garbage removal) while still paying premium taxes for their property. They believe the process to be ‘double billing’ and unfair. Overall, many people believe they pay too much.

The painting of sidewalks and curbs is raised in a disproportionate amount of examples, causing concern about wasted money and an embarrassing feature of our otherwise beautiful city.

The ‘traffic circle and road to nowhere’ is routinely identified as bad planning and wasted cash.

Money wasted on select initiatives by the city, which are then ‘undone’ weeks later, are seen as poor planing, poor ‘checks and balances’ of administrative initiatives, and an opportunity to save the city a substantial amount of cash.

‘Change of the guard’ seems to be a high priority amongst many. Allowing the status quo to remain is seen as a sure way for SA to continue with high taxes and wasteful spending.

Degrading Highway #2 into a ‘stop and go’ commuter street in the northern part of SA is seen as a failure to plan, failure to hold developers responsible for ‘access roads which would keep the major highway flowing smoothly’ and an affront to the notion of an environmentally friendly community. The volume of traffic now forced to idle on SAT in the heart of our city because of the traffic light structure is seen as adding unnecessary CO2 to our air. Many are embarrassed by this contradiction.

Clearly, there is a lot of work to do…

Al Bohachyk
Candidate For Councillor