The first mayoral candidate for next year’s municipal election has officially launched his campaign.
Chad Mason, 26, who works in the accounting department at Manor Management, recently stated his intentions of running for the mayor’s seat.
Mayor Morris Flewwelling said after winning the 2010 election that he would not seek re-election.
Mason, who was born and raised in Red Deer, said he believes changes should be made and the best way to do that is to seek election.
“If we pay someone $80,000 to debate backyard chickens, I might as well run for that job. I have certain views of how things should be done and I think the City is going off track,” he said. “I don’t think we can blame anyone for it, I think it’s on us as citizens to change it and to put us back on the right path.”
Mason said he’s been interested in politics for a number of years.
“I was involved in the provincial campaign. I volunteered with the Wildrose party. I also sit on the board with the Wildrose in Red Deer north,” said Mason.
He added he enjoys the debate aspect of politics the most.
“I really like the rawness of it.”
Mason said the platform of his campaign is based around current issues the City is facing. “I will say no more bike lanes. I know I’m taking a hard position on that. When we painted the bike lanes and then paid someone to remove them, we are destroying our own wealth. If we are going to pay someone to draw out bike lanes and then remove them, than we might as well pay someone to dig a hole and then fill it in,” he said.
“Another is the chickens – I think if you live on a block and someone wants to have chickens then go talk to your neighbours. I don’t think we need City Hall to debate whether or not to have chickens and where chickens can be. I think it’s an issue better left to neighbourhoods.”
Mason also added if elected there will be no more tax increases and more money will be added to the snow removal budget.
“I think it’s a running joke that after the first snowfall the City has blown its snow removal budget.”
As for no more tax increases, Mason said he believes there are ways the City can tighten up.
“Property taxes have been going up about four per cent a year and inflation has been only going up one per cent. Again with the bike lanes – the painting and removing of the lines – I think we may have a bit too much money going through City Hall. I understand we do need money to operate but I think four per cent every year is a bit too much, too fast.”
Mason said he realizes he will be up against some tough competition when it comes to the election.
“I’m definitely not the candidate of experience. Other people will be running on their experience. All I have to run on is my word, so that is what I am running on,” he said. “I’m running because I think I am the best person to be mayor. If people don’t think that, than don’t vote for me. But I’m running as an outsider to change City Hall.”