Edmonton Votes 2017: New LRT route on agenda for Ward 1 in next council term

Ward 1 is in west Edmonton and has more than 50,000 eligible voters.

Incumbent Coun. Andrew Knack is running against three opponents

Ward 1 residents will be watching city hall over the next council term to see how it manages the west LRT extension. (City of Edmonton)

West Edmonton's Ward 1 stretches from Jasper Place and West Edmonton Mall in the south and is crowned by Anthony Henday Drive and Mark Messier Trail in the north.

The ward includes mature neighbourhoods, such as Crestwood, and new communities, such as Webber Greens, that lie outside the Henday.

While fewer than 12 per cent of residents take transit to work, that could soon change. The ward lies on the route of the western leg of the Valley Line LRT.. Current plans call  for the line to run along 87th Avenue connecting Lewis Farms with downtown, and through to southeast Edmonton.

During the next council term, residents in the ward will be asked to provide input on the final designs for the line.

Ward 1 is also home to many infill developments in mature neighbourhoods, and many candidates vying for the Ward 1 seat have made infill an election issue.

Irene Blain is president of the West Jasper/Sherwood Community League. She said there have been problems in her neighbourhood with damage to neighbouring properties by infill developers — and that's turning people off of the projects.

Blain said she would like to see council work on ensuring more inspectors are available to make sure developments are being built to code. Right now, she feels like she's filling that role.

"I have to go around — I just reported an excavation site that was not fenced," she said. "Communities are not against infill. They're against the fact that if infill goes in and it's not being built properly … it causes damage to adjacent properties. That's where they get concerned."

2016 municipal census statistics

Population: 71,340

Eligible voters: 51,522

Owns home: 51.4%

Rents home: 25%

Lived in home five years or more: 35.1%

Mainly drives to work: 74.8%

Takes transit to work: 11.8%

Main language other than English: Tagalog (4.4%)

Income under $30,000: 7.8%

Income $60,000 to $100,000: 12.6%

Children in preschool: 3.9%

Children from kindergarten to Grade 6: 5%

Interesting statistic: In the 2016 municipal census, 801 residents of Ward 1 said they walk to work.

Neighbourhoods: Secord, Rosenthal, Potter Greens, Webber Greens, La Perle, Belmead, Aldergrove, Meadowlark, Terra Losa, Glenwood, Jasper Park, Crestwood, Mayfield, Britannia Youngstown, Canora

Candidates: Randy Allen, Reuben Avellana, Andrew Knack (incumbent), Dave Olivier

From left: Andrew Knack, Reuben Avellana, Randy Allen, Dave Olivier (Ward map: City of Edmonton; candidate photos supplied)

CBC Edmonton's candidate survey responses:

Randy Allen, 53, has lived in Edmonton for 46 years

Family: single, one son
Credentials: strategic account manager for United Rentals; journalism diploma from MacEwan
Top issues: get city back on track with realistic use of taxpayers' dollars; upgrade roads and build LRT in west end
City's biggest challenge: traffic — Anthony Henday Drive should be expanded to ease congestion

Reuben Avellana, 34, has lived in the area for more than 20 years

Family: single
Credentials: Bachelor's degree in computer science from U of A, technical writing at MacEwan, diploma in massage therapy
Top issues: bring sensible point of view to council; build LRT to west end; freeze taxes and fees
City's biggest challenge: fiscal responsibility

Andrew Knack, 33has lived in Edmonton 16 years

Family: married
Credentials: former retail manager; B. Comm, University of Alberta
Top issues: build new recreation centre and library; expand LRT to west end; expand roads; provide variety of housing choices in all communities
City's biggest challenge: 10-year municipal development plan

Dave Olivier has lived in Edmonton for 41 years

Family: three children
Credentials: runs a transportation company. Bachelor's degree in applied business — accounting; marketing management and accounting diplomas
Top issues: fiscal responsibility; public safety; infrastructure issues such as transit and recreation centres for new areas; infill for mature neighbourhoods    
City's biggest challenge: fiscal responsibility. City needs to live within its means and not increase taxes beyond inflation

Ward 1 Issues:

With files from the CBC's Natasha Riebe