Edmonton’s Ward 9 has a new councillor-elect for the first time in a long time.
Tim Cartmell was elected Monday night, replacing longtime city councillor Bryan Anderson, who was on council since 1998 and didn’t seek re-election.
Cartmell won in a ward that was expected to have a close race among a handful of candidates. The longtime engineer and business owner received 42 per cent of the vote, while Rob Agostinis had 22 per cent, Sandy Pon received 16 per cent and Payman Parseyan ended up with 15 per cent of the vote.
“All of us had a good handle on what the ward needed, what was challenging the ward, what people were concerned about. I think we just brought a different solution set to the table,” Cartmell said.
“Just a bit of a different capacity, different professional experience.”
READ MORE: 2017 Edmonton election results
Cartmell was endorsed by Anderson, which the new councillor-elect admits was a shot in the arm for his campaign.
“I got to know Bryan for many years doing community work in Ward 9 and certainly having him on our team was a benefit for sure,” Cartmell said.
Watch Below: Edmonton’s Ward 9 was wide open on Monday night as longtime councillor Bryan Anderson was not seeking re-election. Tim Cartmell will now represent the ward. Quinn Ohler reports.
Transportation was a primary issue discussed by Ward 9 candidates during the campaign.
Cartmell ran on a platform that advocated for an extension of the Capital Line LRT south to Heritage Valley as the next major transit priority, working with the province to expand capacity on Anthony Henday Road, prioritizing the widening of Ellerslie Road and a constructing a free-flow interchange at Terwillegar Drive and Bulyea Road/40 Avenue.
“The early parts of our ward are 30 to 40 years old. Those are established neighbourhoods, and they were built on a different model,” Cartmell said.
“But they were built with the idea that Terwillegar Drive would be the transportation spine that served them and it’s not there.
“So because we’re not yet built out from our neighbourhoods from that perspective, there’s frustration every day.”
Cartmell also supports Bus Rapid Transit as a first-step solution to extending the Capital Line, and he wants to see transit service expanded to higher density and low amenity communities like Glenridding, Ambleside, MacEwan, Rutherford and Chappelle.
Cartmell said he has a relationship with Mayor-elect Don Iveson since Iveson was a city councillor and the two were involved in projects like the Terrwillegar Rec Centre.
On Tuesday morning, Iveson spoke positively about the addition of Cartmell to council and said the two had already spoken about transportation in Ward 9.
“Tim and I have chatted about prioritizing the 40 Avenue interchange upgrade on Terwillegar for example,” Iveson said.
“We’re perfectly well aligned on that. I’m hopeful we’ll be able to advance that in the next infrastructure cycle.”
Cartmell admits there will be a learning curve during the early part of his candidacy. As he puts it, “It’s catching a moving train to get on board and understand just how things work down there.”
The new councillor-elect said his initial focus will be on the capital side of the budget.
“I want to see if we can find a way to maybe do some of these projects better, perhaps approach them in a different way.”
Based on his conversations with constituents, Cartmell believes Edmontonians don’t mind contributing to the city through taxes as long as it the money is used wisely.
“They see some of these things that kind of go sideways, that doesn’t make them happy. They want to make sure that money is being used in a good way,” Cartmell said.
As a business owner, Cartmell believes he brings a different perspective than some councillors.
“That perspective of spending your own money and doing it very carefully, having to make those choices between new infrastructure, be it software or hardware or those kinds of things or investing in new people, and striking that balance,” Cartmell said.