Koziak running for mayor again

Don Koziak is launching another bid to become mayor of Edmonton.

Don Koziak is launching another bid to become mayor of Edmonton.

Koziak, part owner of the Chateau Louis Hotel, ran second to Stephen Mandel, the current mayor, in the 2007 election. He took 25 per cent of the vote, compared to Mandel's 66 per cent.

Koziak said he hadn't planned to announce that he would run again in the Oct. 18 election, but the debate over the future of the City Centre Airport prompted him to get involved early.

"We are the capital of this province, and I would like to see us expand passenger service in small commuter airplanes throughout the province — the stuff that doesn't belong at the international [airport]," he said. "The fact is is that those small planes are incompatible with the big jumbo jets."

One of the airport's two runways was closed on Tuesday.

Koziak is a volunteer with a group opposed to closing the airport. It has been gathering signatures on a petition, hoping to have the closure put to a vote during the election.

Koziak said he thinks the way council is handling the debate is abusive.

Koziak is also opposed to expanding the Edmonton LRT, calling the city a personal vehicle city.

He also questioned the environmental benefits of the LRT.

"Pushing around a 40-tonne vehicle to move a handful of people — even if there's no emissions at the LRT train itself, you're still creating all kinds of emissions generating the electricity to do that," Koziak said. "A modern vehicle is a better vehicle for moving people around and more green, as it were, than LRT."

Councillors and school trustees will also be elected on Oct. 18, with polls open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.