Kevin McLean looks to find a seat at council chambers once more

·3 min read

Kevin McLean is looking to fill the vacant seat in the city council chambers and has added his name to the ballot for the Oct. 17 byelection.

McLean served on council from 2010-2017 and ran in the last election in October.

The position on council opened after the death of coun. John Lehners on July 17.

“I know the role of council and administration, and I'd like to bring my experiences and stability to council, and I think people know that I ran the last few times, and I want to be back on council,” said McLean.

He said his priorities if elected, are to focus on seniors, children, newcomers and healthcare.

“We have an issue with not having enough family doctors in our community,” he said, also noting long wait times, and an under-utilized hospital.

“We have the brand new Grande Prairie Regional Hospital that has 11 operating rooms but only four rooms operational at this time because we don't have the staffing to help the specialists or the surgeons to do the operations.

“I believe we have to advocate to the provincial government.”

He noted that his previous time on council would help with advocating to the province as he had once pushed for more schools in Grande Prairie.

“We started advocating the government for more elementary and high schools, and it worked,” said McLean.

Infrastructure is also on the top of McLean's mind. He said the last big project was Eastlink Centre, and it's time to begin looking at more large initiatives as the community continues to grow.

“If I get elected, I would like to move forward, within one year, for all schools to have solar-powered signs with km/hr on them how fast you're going at every 30 km/hr school in the city,” said McLean.

“We all make mistakes, but if a mistake is made, it shouldn't be in a school zone and by going too fast.”

Whoever is elected will face the four-year budget deliberation in a few short weeks after being sworn in. McLean said he is no stranger to those.

“I've done budgets before with the city; I know the process, of course, it'd be a little bit of learning because there are new individuals involved in administration and on council, but it's about working as a team together.”

He said he wants to also ensure the Golden Age Recreation Centre receives operational funding, as he says it is currently struggling.

A long-time Grande Prairie resident since 1990, McLean says he has seen a lot of changes in the city and noted it has become a younger population.

“Democracy is about having debate and diplomacy, and that's what I love having, and so I'm looking forward to this campaign.”

Candidate nominations closed on Sept. 19 at noon.

The official nominees are also Robin Rochon, Bryan Petryshyn, Wade Pilat, Erik Gault, Okhifoh Solomon, and Tammy Brown are also included on the nomination list.

Two advance voting days are set for Oct. 8 and Oct. 15 at the Montrose Cultural Centre.

The estimated cost of the byelection to the city is $129,980, which covers temporary wages, automated voting, ballots, marketing, advertising, facility rentals, and other related expenditures, says the city.

Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News