MEDICINE HAT, AB — Incumbent Mayor Ted Clugston kicking off his campaign Wednesday night, surrounded by friends and supporters, at the home he grew up in here in Medicine Hat.
Clugston says if he is reelected residents will likely see a “boring” next four years.
The City of Medicine Hat has embarked on many capital infrastructure projects over this last term including the completion of the Canalta Centre, the Family Leisure Centre expansion, a new gas powered electric generator and $26 million in berm and flood mitigation measures built or installed.
Clugston said the next four years will be a focus on growth strategies for the Natural Gas and Petroleum Resources (NGPR) division, deep utility infrastructure replacement and putting money away.
“I really think it’s time for the municipal government to step back, build up our cash reserves again and maybe even monetize some of these discoveries we may make in the future.” said Clugston.
The incumbent admits some of the choices made by city council haven’t been popular. There have been increases to utilities and taxes, and controversial changes to transit.
Clugston is adamant the current council has tried to do their best at meeting the needs of people, while balancing the reality of the economic and financial difficulties plaguing, not just Medicine Hat, but the province and country.
“I believe as a politician you have to make these tough and unpopular choices [sometimes],” Clugston said.
Clugston said he was aware John Hamill was planning to run for mayor but was surprised to see Scott Raible throw his name in.
“That’s good, people want to see democracy, they want to see the issues brought forward,” said Clugston.
He said if his opponents are passionate about reversing the cuts and changes council has made they better be able to let the public know where the money is coming from to do it.
“So, if you’re going to say you’re going to restore the Heald Pool, or you’re going to open The Arena, or you’re going to restore transit, you better have a plan as to how you’re going to pay for it, and that, I would be very interested in hearing.” Clugston said.
This will be the fourth time Clugston has run in a municipal election and the second time he’s seeking the Mayor’s seat.
The deadline to register as a candidate for mayor, council, or public or catholic school board is Monday September 18th at noon.
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