Incumbent candidate Coun. Brian Swanson is ready to give municipal politics another go, as he feels he continues to play an important role.
“I still feel passionate about council and I still feel there is lots of work to be done,” he told the Times-Herald on Sunday.
On Friday, the long-time councillor with 15 years experience in council chambers handed in his nomination papers at city hall, ready to begin his campaign for another term working towards better financial responsibility and accountability within the City of Moose Jaw.
“We really haven’t improved ourselves that much I believe,” he said about the current state of core infrastructure within the city. He said Moose Jaw has, unfortunately, in many ways worked backwards with how it handles infrastructure priorities.
While he said it is good to see candidates in this year’s election stating infrastructure as a concern, he said there is an issue with how the city would pay for necessary improvements. He said his experience on council and interest in this issue and economically responsible would help in this process.
He noted the city’s ability to address failing infrastructure is largely hindered through spending practices (of which he has been critical) in recent years. He said six years ago the city had no debt, but is now $42 million in the red.
While what he considers “infrastructure neglect” has continued in Moose Jaw over the past six years, Swanson said local property taxes and utility rates have nonetheless increased well beyond the rate of inflation.
Swanson said he believes city hall is not working well, and the city must do a better job managing city recourses. This is something Swanson said he would use his experience and familiarity with municipal operations to work towards achieving.
According to the incumbent candidate, he hears out-of-town visitors to the Friendly City comment negatively about the condition of local sidewalks and roads. He believes this demonstrates there is an obvious problem with such examples of core infrastructure.
“We just need to do a much better job with what we have.”
Swanson said, if re-elected, he would continue to bring important financial concerns to the public’s attention on council, ensuring the city be held accountable for its actions.
While he intends to take his leaflets around Moose Jaw during the campaign leading up to the Oct. 24 municipal and school board elections, Swanson said one of the conveniences of being an incumbent candidate is that voters largely already know what he stands for in politics.
When not serving as city councillor, the 55-year-old property manager is busy with family, playing his choice sport of tennis, or else serving in his other elected capacity as a Prairie South School Division trustee.
“I’m a pretty busy person.”
Carter Haydu can be reached at 691-1265.