Okotoks mayoral race is on
Election 2013: Larry Albrecht wants change
By: John Barlow
| Posted: Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 06:00 am
The incumbent has not officially announced he is running, but it appears the race is on for Okotoks’ mayoral seat.
On Friday Larry Albrecht announced he will be running for mayor in Okotoks in the next municipal election scheduled for Oct. 21.
There has not been an official announcement, but by all accounts it is expected current Okotoks Mayor Bill Robertson, who has been on council for 18 years, will run for a second term as mayor.
Albrecht, who served on Brooks town council for 11 years, said it is time for a new perspective and leadership on Okotoks council.
“I think we are at a point where we need to be moving forward,” said Albrecht. “It causes me concern when I see the inaction of this council in terms of securing water supply and spending.”
Albrecht said he is frustrated with the funds spent on surveys on water and growth.
Albrecht said he is “baffled” by council’s inability to make a decision on future access to water.
“The water thing just drives me crazy,” said Albrecht. “We don’t even have enough water for our current population. That affects my family, that affects my property value and affects the community as a whole.”
The former high school principal said there must be some leadership to push council forward to make a decision on a long-term water supply.
He said the Town does not need to spend more money on surveys and enough data is available to move forward.
“Lets put action in place,” he said. “If the best option is to get water upstream from Calgary then lets do that. If the data says that’s not it, but option B is the better option then lets do that.
“My concern is there is no action.”
Albrecht, who also worked for Alberta Education, said he is concerned with Okotoks’ move to appeal the Wind Walk decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Albrecht said he is concerned not only with the cost of the legal action, but the damage it is doing to Okotoks’ relationship with the MD of Foothills especially as the two municipalities enter annexations negotiations.
Albrecht, who is a member of Okotoks’ economic development committee, said with the next council being elected for four years this is a critical election.
“Can we do four more years of the same actions or lack of that we have been doing for the last three or more years?” asked Albrecht. “I don’t believe that we can.”
Another focus he wants to address is making economic development a priority by putting more resources into attracting new industry and bolster the community’s downtown core.
He said the lack of a long-term plan for growth and water has hampered industrial and commercial growth.
Albrecht said he wanted to run for mayor because with 11 years on council, a career as a principal and his years in Okotoks he has the experience and leadership qualities for the job.
“Without challenging the current leadership that is affirmation things are okay and I don’t think they are,” he said. “By throwing my name out I provide that choice for people.”
He said he wants to bring the issues to the forefront and for residents to ask questions.