Carl­son to seek fourth term on city coun­cil

Lethbridge Herald - - HOMETOWN NEWS - Fol­low @Melis­saVHer­ald on Twit­ter Melissa Vil­leneuve mvil­leneuve@leth­bridge­

In­cum­bent Leth­bridge coun­cil­lor Jeff Carl­son has an­nounced his in­ten­tions to seek a fourth term in of­fice.

He is the sec­ond in­cum­bent, fol­low­ing Mayor Chris Spear­man, to de­clare a run for re-elec­tion in the Oc­to­ber Mu­nic­i­pal Elec­tion. Nom­i­na­tion Day is this Mon­day.

Carl­son was first elected to city coun­cil in 2007. He’s been very proud to work with and on be­half of all Leth­bridge res­i­dents to en­sure this com­mu­nity con­tin­ues to be one of the best places to “live, work, learn, and play.” Grow­ing up in Leth­bridge gave him “so many won­der­ful op­por­tu­ni­ties” and he wants to en­sure cur­rent and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions are af­forded the same, if not bet­ter, op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Carl­son said it’s al­ways a tough de­ci­sion when head­ing into a new elec­tion cy­cle whether to run again. He asked him­self if he still had “that fire burn­ing in­side.”

“And there cer­tainly is,” he said. Go­ing for­ward, Carl­son wants to con­tinue the work he has be­gun, but also plans to en­sure Leth­bridge is well po­si­tioned for the fu­ture.

“I don’t want to see that pas­sion die. That re­ally made my de­ci­sion for me is to en­sure that the stuff I think Leth­bridge has been want­ing for at least a decade is com­ing to fruition now.”

One of those ma­jor projects is the Waste Di­ver­sion Strat­egy. Our land­fill is one of the most ex­pen­sive as­sets the City owns and man­ages, said Carl­son. This past term, coun­cil has worked to try and re­duce that cost and to re­duce the amount of waste in the en­vi­ron­ment.

“We’ve got a Di­ver­sion Mas­ter Plan that sets re­ally strong tar­gets, not just for res­i­den­tial, but for com­mer­cial, in­dus­trial, in­sti­tu­tional side of things. We’re re­ally mov­ing for­ward on that and I don’t want to see that de­railed or taken in a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion. That’s a big pas­sion of mine.”

Last term, Carl­son fo­cused on build­ing a strong, healthy com­mu­nity. He worked to en­sure that lo­cal groups and agen­cies like Leth­bridge Se­nior Cit­i­zens Or­ga­ni­za­tion, Nord-bridge Se­nior Cit­i­zens As­so­ci­a­tion, YWCA, Fam­ily Cen­tre and Leth­bridge Fam­ily Ser­vices con­tinue to get ad­e­quate fund­ing. As a past president of Fam­ily and Com­mu­nity Sup­port Ser­vices As­so­ci­a­tion of Al­berta, he has long ad­vo­cated to the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment for in­creased fund­ing to these or­ga­ni­za­tions.

Carl­son has also chaired the Open and Ef­fec­tive Gov­ern­ment Com­mit­tee of Coun­cil, as well as Fi­nance Com­mit­tee through­out the draft­ing of the four-year Op­er­at­ing Bud­get. Other no­table achieve­ments this term in­clude: ren­o­va­tions to Henderson Pool; se­cur­ing funds for the new ATB Leisure Cen­tre and a new fire­hall on the west­side; mov­ing plans for­ward for a new Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre; and con­tin­ued in­vest­ment in our in­dus­trial parks to at­tract em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties to the city.

But he counts be­ing a mem­ber of the com­mu­nity's Poverty Re­duc­tion Com­mit­tee and the Truth and Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Com­mit­tee among his proud­est mo­ments.

“The amaz­ing work done by the mem­bers of these com­mit­tees will greatly en­hance and strengthen Leth­bridge for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions,” he said.

When he first ran in 2007, he ran with the slo­gan I CARE, which stood for in­no­va­tion, com­pas­sion, arts, recre­ation and the en­vi­ron­ment.

“I want to make sure we’re on a re­ally solid course to­wards all of those, so that’s pretty im­por­tant to me.”

Her­ald photo by Ian Martens

Jeff Carl­son has an­nounced he in­tends to run for re-elec­tion in this fall’s mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion. @IMarten­sHer­ald

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