Don Heron, 60, is challenging incumbent Rod Shaigec for the mayor’s seat in this election. Heron was born and raised in Edmonton, but he has lived in Parkland County for the last 14 years.
Heron said he is running for mayor because he feels Parkland County needs fresh leadership.
“I’m just a different person. I think Rod (Shaigec) has done a really good job with the County,” he said. “I think maybe it’s time for a new face.”
Heron said skills he gained over his career would make him a strong asset for Parkland County.
“I have more than 16 years experience working as a financial planner. That’s provided me with an extensive financial background,” he said. “The financial condition here in Parkland County is of the utmost importance.”
Heron said one of his key priorities as mayor would be to encourage agriculture in Parkland County.
“We need to encourage the growth of smaller agricultural operations, as well as sustain and support our agricultural areas,” he said. “Our land is diminishing right now, as residential communities move into the area some of the farming communities closer to the city are getting smaller and smaller.”
Parkland County residents aren’t getting enough services considering the amount of takes they pay, according to Heron.
“Even myself personally just living out in the rural area of Parkland County, we don’t see a lot of services for the taxes that we’re paying out there,” he said. “We have to take our own garbage to the landfill, we don’t have streetlights, that kind of thing. Our roads are in desperate need of repair.”
Heron said he doesn’t support Parkland County’s currently proposed Land Use Bylaw amendment regarding shooting ranges, and he would seek alternative solutions to the conflict between the Spruce Grove Gun Club SGGC and its neighbours.
“I do understand the concerns of the residents in the vicinity of the SGGC with regard to the noise and safety factor, but the SGGC has also been operating for over 40 years without any safety incidents,” he said. “I’m concerned that the Land Use Bylaw affects all the gun clubs right across the County, and I believe that both sides can reach a mutually agreed upon solution with-out resorting to bylaw changes.”
– Article published by Jake Wray 08.18.17 in the Stony Plain Reporter/ Spruce Grove Examiner