City Councillor Bill McQuesten has announced his intention to run again in this fall’s municipal election.
McQuestion said he’s been on City council on and off for about 20 years – and that also includes a stint as mayor, too, from 2001 to 2004.
“I’m into my 13th year (on council),” he said, adding that part of the reason he wants to run again is that things are exciting around the City these days.
“You’ll hear this from talking with all of the councillors – the west area,” he explained, adding he was there at the beginning and that area of the community is on the brink of having some exciting things happen in terms of development.
“In municipal politics and municipal growth, a lot of things tend to take a long time to evolve,” he said. “So this is exciting, and I want to see this happen out there. And part of what’s happening out there is because of the fact we have water – and I was the founding chair of the water commission. I was the one who put that together.
“So I personally have a vested interest on seeing a positive outcome on the west area,” he said. “Part and parcel of that is also because of the terrific working relationship we have with Lacombe County which has been growing for over 20 years,” he said.
“I’m just excited about the community and the potential of where it’s going to go.”
Besides his political experience in Lacombe, McQuesten has also been very involved in many aspects of the community from coaching soccer and T-ball to teaching Sunday school, serving as a Cub leader and a Scout leader. “I’m also a past president of both Rotary Clubs in town,” he said. “So I’ve been involved in the community – people know me,” he added. “I think it’s important to give back to your community.
“I’ve also got some specific pet projects that I want to be involved with as well, and obviously the west area is one,” he noted of other goals in running again.
“Also, the Lacombe Foundation – I’ve been on the Lacombe Foundation this term and we have plans for a new seniors’ facility that we’ve been trying to make headway with the government.” McQuesten said if he is re-elected, he would like to become more involved with the Foundation. “Looking after our seniors is extremely important to me,” he said.
He’s also serving on the airport steering committee which is focused on some exciting new plans in terms of direction and branding, he said. “It’s an important part of our community and it’s an important part of our identity,” he said. “A lot of people don’t realize how busy it is.”
He’s also on the board of the Bill Nielsen Trail Society.
“It’s a phenomenal example of collaboration between a community group and the City in what they are doing with trail maintenance and development,” he said. “It’s another example of how alive this community is,” he said, referring to that ongoing partnership. “That’s what excites me about it.”
McQuesten has lived in the community for about 25 years now. “I’ve been involved in the community ever since I got here.
“It’s also been a wonderful place to raise kids,” he said, noting with a smile that he and his wife are probably about five years way from being real empty nesters.
“Coming here was a blessing.”
In looking back on his extensive City council experience, McQuesten said by far the most compelling part of it all has been working and connecting to others.
“The people in this community are phenomenal,” he said, adding that Lacombe has been recognized as one of the very highest in terms of giving in the nation – and even the highest at times – over the years.
He said that Lacombians tend to be very outward looking and (citizens) want to help people. “That’s just the nature of it.”
Going forward, McQuesten said that he hopes to of course see further growth in the City in terms of business opportunities as well.
“We are on the radar. People have been coming to this town and wanting to develop in this town for a long time,” he said.
“We still have a healthy growth in our residential areas; we do need to get our commercial/industrial tax base up – you’ll hear that from everybody.”
In the meantime, McQuesten said he would also encourage folks – especially those new to the community who may not be really familiar with everyone who is running for a seat – to inquire of others about his track record.
“Someone tells you about themselves, you might think, ‘Well, that’s a really nice story’,” he explained with a chuckle. “Go talk to other people, too.”