A veteran of the local government will be running for re-election.
Councillor Ken Baker has made his intentions known for the upcoming municipal election, after having filed his papers for a bid at holding his council seat. Baker told 106.1 The Goat he made the decision to run after having given the idea a lot of thought, and after being asked to run by residents of the community.
Though Baker previously served as the mayor of Lloydminster for two terms, he will not seek the position in this race.
“I had nine years of being the city mayor, and it’s a lot of work, and what’s the saying, ‘been there, done that’?” said Baker.
“Hopefully, as a long term member of city council over the years, in my role as councilor I might be valuable to the new councillors, and bring some new experience to the table. That’ll be plenty for me to do. There are other things in life that I’d like to do, and I just don’t need a full time commitment to the mayor’s job, and I salute anybody that lets their name stand forward for that position.”
Baker will be one of three members of council actively seeking to hold office, as Chris McQuid, Linnea Goodhand, Larry Sauer, and Rob Saunders have announced they will not be running this year. Councillor Lachlan Cummine has announced he will be running again, and Councillor Jason Whiting has launched a mayoral bid.
“It’s quite a big commitment, no doubt about it,” said Baker.
“It’s every week, you’re committed to time, and families are important, and certainly many of those folks I’m sure have other things they’d like to do in life,” said Baker.
“I thank them for their service to our community, and whatever they pursue outside of City Council.”
Baker did express surprise about the choice of Saunders to not seek re-election, and said he hopes the outgoing mayor enjoys the next chapter of his life.
As for what Baker plans to focus on during his campaign, infrastructure issues were at the top of his mind. He indicated he had concerns about the cost of the downtown hub project, and said the wastewater treatment plant upgrade project should be at the forefront of the City agenda.
“We can’t take a shotgun approach to some of these things, we have to take a businesslike approach, and set priorities, and do one project at a time, as we can afford them, and make sure that things get done,” said Baker.
He said he would want to increase public engagement on large expenditures of public money, and the use of plebiscites for what he deemed as “wants.”
“Setting priorities on our capital works is my main concern,” said Baker.
“Other than that, what’s new?”
Baker also touched on the topic of the way the municipal government handles its accounts payable information, saying that the next council should look at the issue first thing.
“I think the new mayor and council should approach that immediately after they’re sworn in,” said Baker.
“Everything that is legally possible should be transparent.”
A full list of confirmed candidates in the municipal election will be issued on September 22.