The city's municipal election is still months away, but Edmonton businessman Mike Nickel announced his intention Thursday to again run for mayor.

Nickel finished a distant second to Mayor Bill Smith in the 1998 election.

In announcing his candidacy, he attacked Smith for failing to hold the line on taxes and for doing too little to help the city's economic growth. He also criticized Smith for not taking a hard approach on crime.

"We can no longer tolerate reading stories in the newspaper that make us feel unsafe," he said. "The community that I know Edmonton to be has no room for drive-by shooings, gang violence, kids killing kids."

Nickel pledged to work with other levels of government to crack down on violence and drug trafficking. He also promised, that if elected, he would keep taxes down while maintaining or expanding city services.

Nickel and Smith are the only two officially declared candidates for the October election. Smith is seeking a third term in office.