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Council 'debate' postponed

And they're off! The race for St. Albert city council officially kicked into gear Monday after candidates filed nomination papers confirming their candidacy.

And they're off!

The race for St. Albert city council officially kicked into gear Monday after candidates filed nomination papers confirming their candidacy.

There were few surprises with Nolan Crouse and Shelley Biermanski still in the race for mayor. It's a 13-way race for council with challengers Aisling Pollard-Kientzel, Cam MacKay, Cathy Heron, James Van Damme, Stanley Haroun, Wes Brodhead, Malcolm Parker, Norm Harley and Robyn Morrison facing off against incumbents Gareth Jones, James Burrows, Roger Lemieux and Len Bracko.

Campaign signs are the first visual sign of election season, and sure to follow is plenty of door knocking, glad-handing and forums.

St. Albert doesn't do debates, with groups like the chamber preferring a less adversarial forum format where voters get to know about their candidates.

This election one group has stepped forward with plans to hold a debate. "People for a Brighter Future" say they planned to hold a debate on Sept. 29, however the event had to be scrapped because the entire city council couldn't make it, citing scheduling conflicts. They're now looking for an alternate date.

The main theme of the debates is: Is the current land use planning and development method broken? 

Specific issues to be discussed include downtown redevelopment, affordable housing, and development in the annexed lands.

Interestingly, the debate co-ordinator is Sheena Hughes, an Akinsdale resident who has been highly vocal about 70 Arlington Dr.