Mayor Morris Flewwelling will seek a third term on Oct. 18 after receiving blessing from his family and messages of support from the community.
Flewwelling told the Advocate on Thursday that he will run again for municipal office and that soon he will make a formal declaration of his intentions. On Tuesday, he told members of the Red Deer Optimist Club of his re-election plans.
“I am hearing support from the community and I’m absolutely enjoying the work of being mayor,” said Flewwelling during a break from chores on his farm where he keeps horses. “And I’m in good health and it works well for me and my family, so my plan now is to run.”
Prior to being elected as mayor of Red Deer in 2004 (he was elected a second time in 2007), Flewwelling served as councillor for three consecutive terms. He also served as councillor for one term in the 1970s. He initially committed himself to serve as mayor for six years.
In recent years, Flewwelling, 68, has encountered several challenges on both a personal level and as head of Alberta’s third largest city. In late 2006, he was hospitalized for pneumonia and was on sick leave for nearly two months.
The city engaged in a bitter feud with Red Deer County over land, which was amicably resolved in 2007. After a period of huge commercial and residential growth, the local economy has since weakened, creating a host of financial issues. Council decided last November to delay a number of capital projects for many years, including a new 50-metre competitive swimming pool.
Flewwelling said he feels the city has made good progress in the last few years, given the difficult economic times.
“We’ve been through a building phase,” said Flewwelling, referring to a list that would include a new downtown parkade and RCMP building.
If re-elected, Flewwelling said his main objective is ensuring the municipality’s sustainability on many fronts. Environmental initiatives are important to him.
“I want to make sure we’re socially sustainable — that we have amenities for our people and a strength in our community that will also allow us to continue on,” Flewwelling said.
The mayor also emphasized the importance of being a strong leader for the entire Red Deer region, particularly when it comes to water, land and other development issues. He wants to build more industrial capacity, continue the city’s strong relationship with the county and see the Plasco waste-to-energy plant move forward.
“We’ve got so many files open that I think it requires continuity from the mayor’s shop,” he said.
No one else has announced a mayoralty bid.
The remaining eight members on council — Buck Buchanan, Cindy Jefferies, Lynne Mulder, Gail Parks, Larry Pimm, Tara Veer, Lorna Watkinson-Zimmer and Larry Wong — haven’t publicly announced whether they will seek re-election.