A tenth candidate has joined the race for St. Albert city council.
Isadore Peter Stoyko, a retired contractor, said he is thankful for past and present councillors who have gone to work for St. Albert, but noted what he described as recent “hiccups” have contributed to his motivation to run for election this Oct. 18.
“The city has been hell-bent on trying to compete with other businesses, when that isn’t a city’s mandate,” Stoyko said.
Additionally, Stoyko said he takes issue with the number of consultant reports the city has pursued, giving the example of the 2019 internal audit report by consultant MNP.
“The city puts the consultant’s report on the backburner, and they never hear about it again,” Stoyko said.
Instead, efficiencies should be found using “the city’s own forces,” Stoyko argued, adding he would like to see the city distinguish between its needs and wants.
“The needs are your police, your fire department, emergency services, and building maintenance,” Stoyko said. “Wants like services and planning could be reigned in.”
A parent of three, Stokyo said two of his children have moved to Leduc, and high property taxes were a significant factor in their decisions.
“We’re losing out on well educated people with good jobs,” Stoyko said. “If your residents are going to get taxed beyond recognition over the years, people are going to shy away. You can develop all the lots you want, but they could sit empty.”
In addition to cutting back on spending, Stoyko said co-operation with surrounding municipalities would also be one of his priorities.
For example, he said he would want to work with Edmonton to pool funding for St. Albert services that might benefit residents in both municipalities, such as Servus Place.
“I live in North Ridge, and people that live in the northern side of Edmonton get more out of Servus Place than I ever get,” Stoyko said. “There should be acknowledgement that we’re providing a service and our residents are paying for it.”
For Stoyko, expanded recreation facilities are important service he said he would like to see offered to taxpayers.
“Expanded recreation facilities are a universal need,” he said. “If you have soccer fields that are spread out, swimming pools, and ice rinks, it gets kids and parents out of the house, which is very positive for a healthy community.”
Ultimately, Stoyko said he believes a council position is “what you make of it.”
“It’s not an easy job, and you can’t satisfy everybody, but you can make more time to answer people’s questions, which puts people at ease,” Stoyko said. “I want to provide that value to taxpayers.”