EDMONTON – Edmonton City Councillor Kerry Diotte announced Thursday afternoon that he will be running for mayor.
In his speech, the Ward 11 councillor said more needs to be done to address potholes and snow clearing in the city.
He added that the civic debt the city has taken on scares the heck out of him.
“Edmontonians have told me it’s time for new leadership and new direction at City Hall,” Diotte said.
“Folks want our civic government to do a better job of maintaining basic infrastructure and delivering core services. They want politicians to listen to them. I do and I’ll continue to do so. “They want council to keep a lid on taxes and get our debt under control. They want the city to put the real needs of taxpayers first, and do a better job of listening to them about what matters most.”
The 2013 municipal election will be held October 21.
Diotte is the first candidate to announce plans to run for the mayor’s chair.
He said Wednesday’s council meeting on the downtown arena was the final push for him to run for mayor. Diotte was among the three councillors who voted against the final funding model for the arena deal.
“The final catalyst for my decision was yesterday’s council vote on the lopsided arena deal… Our first priority should be better streets and services, not subsidizing billionaires.”
“I am running for mayor because I believe the key to making our city an even better place to live, work and play is by ensuring that our dreams and our destiny are built on solid, sensible, affordable foundations.”
Current Mayor Stephen Mandel has not yet revealed if he intends to run for re-election.
In an interview with Global News Thursday morning, Mandel said Diotte hasn’t done a lot on city council.
“His three years on council have been really quite irrelevant, and he could have been a big contributor but he’s done nothing to contribute to the success of the city.”
Councillor Amarjeet Sohi’s evaluation of Diotte’s contribution was a little more guarded.
“What I can say is the mayor’s frustration has grounds.”
Councillor Don Iveson said Diotte’s vision for Edmonton is not clear.
“I’ll just be interested to see – with Councillor Diotte’s announcement – what vision he intends to present for the city, because after three years of working with him, I’d struggle to guess what it would be.”
“Hope that citizens see through the façade,” Mandel added, “but that’ll be up to them if that’s what he does.”