Education: U of A Edmonton, Justice Institute training in mediation and conflict resolution
Previous political experience: One year Mission councillor; eight years Mission mayor; 12 years Mission MLA
Community Involvement: Charter member Mission Midday Rotary; member Mission Chamber of Commerce, Government Liaison Committee; chair: Sandtraps for Seizures Epilepsy golf tournament; chair, Friends of 2014 Winter Games; Mission minor hockey and baseball coach 1980-1993
Marital Status/children: Married, three children and nine grandchildren
Social media: Facebook and website: randyformissionmayor.com
Three key issues for Mission voters:
1. Homelessness and mental illness/addiction: We have a huge problem and it is growing. We all see the dirty needles discarded in our parks and school grounds, the wire and metal theft, the car break-ins, and the aggressive panhandlers. Action must be taken now.. There are many communities that have successfully dealt with this humanely and effectively. Through utilizing all of our resources and the best practice of successful communities we can work with these people to get them into the help they need to get their lives back on track. We cannot allow homelessness and addiction to be an excuse for unacceptable behaviour.
2. Public safety and essential services: The pursuit of a zero tax increase has resulted in a cut of over $800,000 in the budget for protective services. This includes cutting a fire inspector position which has resulted in a backlog of near 700 commercial and industrial building inspections. Similarly, the engineering and public works budget has been cut by over $2 million between 2011 and 2013. This is road and infrastructure maintenance and repair. Public safety and key infrastructure should never be compromised in any circumstance. These services must be restored.
3. Many millions can be spent on yet another downtown revitalization plan or we can take a more modest approach to downtown and use those many millions to build community infrastructure in your neighbourhood to enhance life for your family. The Downtown Revitalization Plan calls for a $6 million move of Highway 7 onto Railway Avenue, losing 100 parking places. Millions more to be spent on three downtown parks, widening sidewalks downtown and even building an entertainment plaza. This is a gamble with no guarantee of success.
I propose a more modest approach starting with a police presence downtown, speed limit enforcement, and dealing with the homeless and addiction problem. Losing parking and failing to act on the addictions problem downtown guarantees failure.
Instead of gambling millions downtown, I propose spreading these funds into neighbourhoods throughout our community for sidewalks, park amenities, and needed infrastructure.