Mayoral candidate Flegel releases eight-point plan for Regina

Mayoral candidate Jerry Flegel has released his eight-point plan of priorities to renew the city if he is elected as mayor in November.

Flegel, who has served as city councillor for Ward 10 for 14 years, stated in a release on Tuesday that his plan involves new infrastructure and upgrades across different areas in Regina to attract new investments.

Among the first items listed on Flegel’s eight-point plan are redeveloping the vacant city railyards along Dewdney Avenue by building a multi-use community park, and building affordable housing units where Taylor Field once stood.

The park would include a new facility for the Regina Red Sox of the Western Canadian Baseball League, fields for youth sports, a community centre and a possible permanent location for a farmer’s market.

His plan for the vacant Taylor Field lot would be to build new affordable housing units and to re-introduce services such as a grocery store for the neighbourhood. During a phone interview on Tuesday, Flegel said it’s time to be a dynamic city again.

“We have to be able to start somewhere and that has always been my theory. If you don’t start something, you’ll never finish it,” explained Flegel. “We have been talking about the Dewdney Avenue lands for about 14 years and nothing has happened. So I’ve started a better plan that is more community-based.”

Flegel also has plans to develop a new leisure centre in the southwest part of the city to expand and improve recreation facilities for what he said is “one of the newest and fastest growing neighbourhoods in Regina.”

The rest of his plan involves a renewal strategy for the neighbourhood east of Broad Street with a new senior’s home, streamlining the process for building permits to eliminate backlogs, widening the bridge on Arcola Avenue, exploring options when it comes to harm reduction strategies for residents struggling with addictions and substance abuse, and renew relationships with federal, provincial and other municipal levels of government.

While there are only eight points to Flegel’s plan, he said there are 15 more items he could list. He expects there will be more additions to his plan moving forward.

“If you’re not building economic development in the city, and there has been nothing going on through the mayor’s office in a while, you’re not going to create new opportunities for business taxes, land taxes and that kind of stuff,” he mentioned.

“I’m the type of guy with a personality that allows me to change the dynamic and create a better energy in the city. I’m willing to work with anybody to do something better for this city as opposed to what has been going on with the leadership in the last eight years.”

Reflecting on Michael Fougere’s promise to freeze property taxes in 2021 and for the foreseeable future, Flegel said it will be interesting to see how that happens in the next couple weeks. He doesn’t think it can’t be done, but said he would like to develop the city through business growth.

Fougere also stated during his re-election announcement on Tuesday that the city’s reserve funds are “generally healthy”. Flegel recalls city council was told three or four months ago that the reserves are “okay”.

“Whether [reserves] could sustain a hit of $14 million or $15 million, well, they would have to work the numbers,” said Flegel. “You can only go so low, then you start losing your credit rating and your borrowing becomes more expensive. It’s a snowball effect.”

He added that reserve funds will need to be used to cover the debt load from COVID-19 since the city is now allowed to report a deficit which is not permitted in The Cities Act.

There are four other candidates other than Flegel and Fougere vying to become mayor of Regina including Tony Fiacco, Mitchell Howse, Jim Elliott and George Wooldridge. Election day is November 9.

 

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