A former Highwood MLA is running for a seat at the municipal table.
Wayne Anderson, who retired from politics in 2018 after RJ Sigurdson won the Highwood UCP nomination, has decided to return to the fray and is running in Foothills County’s Div. 7 in the upcoming municipal election.
“There’s a lot of concern about this CMRB process and that’s something I think is going to need and require some expertise from someone who spent several years up in Edmonton working as a member of the opposition,” said Anderson. “And moreover, I understand how these processes actually work.”
As the County continues to fight its membership in the Calgary Metropolitan Region Board and the growth plan, he said his skills and knowledge of the bureaucratic process could be beneficial for the municipality.
It’s going to take negotiations to make any ground, he said.
“I don’t think they’ll turn the tap off and say they’re not going to go forward,” said Anderson. “You’ll have to negotiate with the minister.”
Once a colleague of Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIver, he said he could have some insight on that front.
The conversations will come soon after the election, he said, adding the Province is likely waiting until the municipal elections are concluded to take any action.
“I would be very comfortable dealing with that on behalf of Foothills council and I think that’s a great benefit for the organization and for the folks here in Foothills,” said Anderson.
He added his track record in advocating for area residents was proven after the 2013 flood, when he worked with the County and the Province to navigate the Discovery Recovery Program process and work through 500 applicant files over the course of 18 months.
Aside from experience at the Provincial table, he said he’s keen to get into economic development for the County and help diversify the tax base, particularly in the Aldersyde industrial corridor.
“Once you have industry in place and producing revenues, that allows us to keep the taxes lower here,” said Anderson. “The taxes are in a pretty good position here, but you have to be prepared for the future, especially as this government changes its funding over the next two years.”
Water is also a key issue he’s ready to dive into.
While in office as MLA, Anderson said he stood in the legislature every few weeks to make a case for potable water in the Okotoks and High River regions.
“That is something I always stood up for,” said Anderson, adding he’s prepared to go to bat for funding.
Transparency and accessibility are also important issues for a councillor, he said.
People want to know what’s happening in their division and in the County as a whole, he said.
“Being silent and being non-communicative is not the way a councillor should operate,” said Anderson. “You have to be accountable and you have to be accessible. Accessibility and experience, knowledge and dedication are what I’ve got to be an effective councillor.”