Running on a platform that touts him as a forward-thinking innovator, Rick Orr announced his candidacy for the Ward 2 city councillor spot this week.
Orr, a local businessman who co-owns a mortgage brokerage in Prince Albert with his wife Kathy, is the first person to announce his candidacy for a city councillor spot.
Current Ward 2 Coun. Greg Dionne and local realtor Dean Link have both announced that they’re running for the mayoral position.
“I feel that in our community we have some future things that are going to require some forward thinking,” Orr said.
“We have some trouble times, possibly, coming with deficits coming with crumbling infrastructure, cost increases due to labour and pension funding issues.”
It’s time to deal with these problems head-on, he said, and to “deal with them together as a group and as a community.”
Ward 2 is a perfect fit, Orr said, as he’ll be able to make the best use of his business background as well as address some concerns he has regarding the future of the city.
These concerns include “the need for the development of the downtown core, and of course the things that need to be addressed in the area, such as public safety for people in their homes and on the streets,” he explained.
From an administrative standpoint, his main goal is encouraging more accountability to the public.
“One of the things that’s troubled myself watching civic politics is things like the budgets from the (Prince Albert) Arts Board not being forthcoming to council — things like that,” he explained.
One of the things that’s troubled myself watching civic politics is things like the budgets from the (Prince Albert) Arts Board not being forthcoming to council — things like that. - Rick Orr
“I think things behind closed doors in an open civic government, it’s not the way to do business. Citizens deserve to know where things are.”
While Orr launches his campaign for councillor, current Ward 2 Coun. Greg Dionne said that his campaign for mayor is already well underway.
“I’ve been out there talking to people and going door to door and getting some very good response,” he said.
Although Dionne noted that he has loved representing Ward 2 for the past nine years, it’s not a simple ward to deal with.
The ward encompasses the city’s entire downtown core, as well as the west flat area of the city up to Ninth Avenue West. It also encompasses all of the city land north of the North Saskatchewan River, including bedroom communities, farmland, the airport and the city’s upcoming Green Industrial Park.
“It is the largest geographical ward and it has the largest amount of voters in it,” Dionne said.
The official nomination process for civic and school board elections will begin on Sept. 18 and conclude on Sept. 30.
Elections will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 24. This will be the first time four-year term of office will begin in Prince Albert, representing a one-year addition to previous terms.