The electoral race for the next mayor of Lloydminster has officially begun.
Lloydminster resident Gerald Aalbers, who had first declared his intentions back in April of 2016, has filed the nomination forms necessary to make an official run at the position, dropping off the paperwork at City Hall on Tuesday afternoon.
Speaking to the press after the process was concluded, Aalbers said he was both excited and nervous to officially kick off his campaign. He also said his next moves over the next two weeks would be to door-knock and order signs.
When asked about what issues he plans to focus on during the campaign, Aalbers said he had been hearing from residents on a variety of topics, including public transit, the purchase of the downtown Synergy Credit Union building, the status of the wastewater treatment plant upgrade and ‘issues from the past’.
“I think everything from the question about AHHA Moments a year ago, and answers that haven’t been received from City staff and from councillors and the mayor, people would like to ask some serious questions and get some serious answers, including access to information,” said Aalbers.
“Questions about where documents are, how easily they should be accessible, are they not accessible; there is a lot of questions out there.”
Aalbers also acknowledged that he can’t make any firm financial commitments as a mayoral candidate, as financial power rests in the hands of city council.
“There is going to be some good debate, and I hope that some answers come forward during the election,” said Aalbers.
“One of the challenges that people ask me ‘what am I promising’ and as has been reminded to me by the City, I cannot commit to a financial commitment of any sort, because the council that will be elected on October 26 will decide where the money is spent going forward.”
Signage related to candidates in the municipal election has yet to appear in the city, and a forum will be held in October by the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce for residents to come out and hear what the candidates have to say. Aalbers said he is in the process of preparing for ‘all questions’ which could be asked during the forum.
“One thing you’ll find is that if I do not know, I will explain very clearly that I do not have an answer today, but if I am elected mayor, I will find an answer,” said Aalbers.
He also thinks he has as good a shot as any candidate.
“I’m going to be bringing a whole new fresh perspective,” said Aalbers.
“I’m sure people will say I don’t bring any experience, (but) if we go back and look at previous mayors and council members, everybody started somewhere. I guess this is my point of starting. I believe I bring a great deal of energy, I bring enthusiasm, I bring a plan to listen to people and help to try and translate that into action in the city.”
A full list of confirmed mayor and council candidates will be issued on September 22, with nominations open until September 21.