With a new city council coming out of the Oct. 24 civic election, mayoral candidate Dean Link wants to help put the city on a new path.
“It appears like we lack a definitive plan in this city,” he said.
“I’m calling my program, the F.A.S.T. plan — fiscal responsibility, accountability, safety and transparency.”
His eyes glued to the television during city council meetings of recent years, Link point out many examples of ways in which he feels the more clearly focused council he plans on heading would have better served the city.
The fiscal responsibility front is closely linked to his accountability and transparency campaign points.
“We’re hearing too many stories from the water treatment plant. Have we heard the real story?” he asked. “There’s no accountability.
“In this day and age you have to be transparent, and somebody has to be held accountable. We’re paying good wages in city hall — I mean, if there’s a mistake made, everybody makes mistakes, but let’s see what has happened.”
The Prince Albert Police Service budget should be more open, he said, alongside all other organizations that receive city funding.
Fronted by Coun. Lee Atkinson, some members of council have called to question Prince Albert Arts Board financials, which some on council have expressed opposition to bringing forth.
“Any outside board or organization that receives money from this city will not receive a dime unless they present updated financials,” Link said, adding that he’s not singling out any specific organizations.
The city’s ownership of 182 buildings should be pared down, he said — the extent of which is currently unclear because council doesn’t have a definitive list of buildings.
Water comes at a cost to taxpayers, though water usage isn’t monitored in many facilities, therefore skewing how much these facilities actually cost taxpayers.
“They’ll be charged and that’ll have to be factored into their budget,” Link said. “It’s not proper budgeting in this city — we’ve got to have proper budgeting.”
Looking out the window of his Advantage Real Estate office on Second Avenue West he’s able to point out two more points of contention.
I’m calling my program, the F.A.S.T. plan — fiscal responsibility, accountability, safety and transparency. - Prince Albert mayoral candidate Dean Link
Council should not have approved the replacement of a fence that runs up the middle of the street, at a cost of approximately $170,000, he said.
“I went out and looked at it, and there’s nothing wrong with that fence — nothing some painting won’t fix,” he said.
The issues at the Diefenbaker bridge also raise a lot of questions, he said.
“It’s pretty sad when a doctor out canoeing has to tell us the shape of our bridge — I mean, do we not have employees? … It just seemed a bit strange.”
On the safety front of his campaign, Link said that he wants to see cameras installed in high crime areas of the city, and have police crack down on certain things, such as what he perceives to be poor traffic safety adherence on the part of the public.
“There seems to be little regard for our laws. I counted, I think, eight people using cellphones as I drove down Second Avenue (West) today,” he said. “Red lights seem to mean nothing in this city.
Link’s campaign is going well, he said, and is complete with meetings with constituents, phone calls, campaign signs and fliers, which he will begin distributing in a few days.
Whatever council comes out of the Oct. 24 election, Link wants to see a less divisive group than that of today.
“That’s got to end … Nobody should be debased in public, and I think that’s rather shocking … I would certainly never pick on a councillor in public,” he said.
“If everyone works together we can make things better.”
Link was born and raised in Saskatoon. He moved to Prince Albert 30 years ago, following a work transfer.
Link left the hotel industry about 20 years ago to begin work in real estate. He’s currently the sales co-ordinator for Advantage Real Estate.
Jim Scarrow, who is running for re-election, currently holds the mayor’s seat. The city’s current city councillor for Ward 2, Greg Dionne, is also competing for the mayoral seat.