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Retired urban planner Ross Guffei to run for council

In addition to prioritizing traffic issues, Ross Guffei said increasing council transparency would also be essential to him if elected.
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Ross Guffei has lived in St. Albert for 31 years. He is running for council in the upcoming municipal election.

A retired urban planner running for St. Albert council wants to work toward fixing traffic issues and increasing council transparency. 

Ross Guffei said he thinks St. Albert is a “fabulous place to raise a family,” but said one of the reasons he decided to run was that he wanted to get the city “back on track.”

“I’m getting the impression we’re getting lost, or straying away from what I believe St. Albert should be all about,” Guffei said.  

The 31-year resident of St. Albert argued that too often, St. Albert is trying to be too similar to other cities such as Edmonton. 

“I moved up here because it was predominantly single family,” he said. “That’s the place I wanted to bring my kids up. I don’t think people who live in St. Albert want it to be like Edmonton, because if we did, we’d have moved there.”

He gave the examples of recently reduced residential road speeds and the addition of higher-density developments such as the contentious Riverbank Landing development. 

“I think that development is great, it’s just in the wrong place,” Guffei said. “Right now, the developer gets priority over the residents who spent a million dollars on a house next to what they thought was going to be another single-family home.”

Guffei said he has experience designing Area Structure Plans (ASPs) for municipalities around Alberta, including St. Albert’s Oakmont neighbourhood, and argued this knowledge will help him collaborate with city administration to solve traffic issues such as shortcutting in Erin Ridge.

“I’m pretty confident I know how to resolve these issues with minimal costs,” Guffei said. “I also have some ideas about how to deal with congestion during construction.” 

In addition to prioritizing traffic issues, Guffei said increasing council transparency would also be essential to him if elected. 

“No more of these in-camera meetings between administration and council,” Guffei said. “Residents have a serious stake in anything council wants to approve, and they should be aware of what they’re getting into.”

New to politics, Guffei said “leaving a legacy” or advancing politically are not his priority. 

“I’m not in this to end up being prime minister of Canada,” Guffei said. “I want to work to convey the desires of existing residents and make the sure the community is what they want it to be.”

Guffei said he ultimately wants to see St. Albert remain a community that residents are “proud to live in.”

“We have to figure out what St. Albert is really all about,” Guffei said. “I want to see a city that our families and grandkids can grow up in.”

Rachel Narvey

About the Author: Rachel Narvey

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