The number of incumbents who will run in the fall municipal election has risen to two.
Coun. Morgan Nagel will join Coun. Ross Watson on the ballot.
Finishing up his first term as an elected official has reinforced the 27-year-old town councillor’s penchant for municipal politics and provided a glimpse into what the next council will have to tackle over the next four years.
His announcement quells rumours his eye is on the big chair.
“I put a little bit of thought into running for the mayoral position – but it came down to that I wanted to make the most impact,” he explained, adding the mayor’s position is weighted the same as councillors – one of seven votes –but is more of a gamble to seek.
He is hopeful he can build a strong working relationship with the rest of council and tackle issues he views as critical for the sustainable development of Alberta’s fastest growing municipality: managing and slowing down growth; focusing on infrastructure needs, namely traffic concerns and moving along major projects such as the south Bow River crossing and the Highway 1A/22 intersection; addressing the single entry/exit into communities and adding a secondary access into Sunset Ridge; addressing capital projects such as a new RCMP station; and working on water and wastewater facility upgrades.
With figures for these projects soaring into the hundreds of millions of dollars, Nagel said he would opt for the less popular notion of postponing an arts and community hub. He said other important capital projects should be re-worked in the town’s 10-year financial strategy before funding another major recreational facility.
He also hopes the next round of elected officials are not afraid to say “no” – emphasizing that just because items make it onto the budget radar, does not mean that council needs to move them forward.
He used the new chairs for the RancheHouse included in this year’s budget as an example.
“Nobody really made the case as to why we needed to spend $70,000 on chairs,” he laughed, adding he felt the current ones had plenty of use left.
Or not succumbing to pressures from developers.
“I can feel this pressure in the room that because we have seen Southbow so many times, we have to approve it,” said Nagel – who was the sole vote in opposition to first reading and a public hearing on land use amendments to the south Cochrane development.
“I’m not saying we should never develop south of the river, just not now.”
Nagel has an undergraduate degree in economics, is a level two chartered financial analyst candidate and is the digital communications manager with the Jason Kenney Leadership Campaign.
Mayor Ivan Brooker has yet to declare his official intentions to run for office.
Coun. Tara McFadden has not yet announced her intentions.
Couns. Mary Lou Eckmeier, Gaynor Levisky and Jeff Toews will not seek re-election.