Ward 8 by-election: Dennis Nowoselsky hopes to tackle rising debt, addictions and beautifying Prince Albert

Former Ward 7 councillor and 2020 mayoral candidate Dennis Nowoselsky -- Herald file photo.

A familiar face to Prince Albert City Council is hoping to make a return.

Dennis Nowoselsky is one of five candidates in the Ward 8 by-election, scheduled for May 31. He was the Ward 7 councillor for four terms, now held by Dawn Kilmer, before stepping back in order to run for mayor in 2020.

“I’ve given my life to public service,” he said about why he wanted to run again.

Nowoselsky has listed seven priority issues he would address, including lowering taxes, promoting business development, beautifying the city, using a community-driven approach to address addictions, and ensuring council is more transparent with the public.

Here’s what he had to say about a few of those topics:

Recreation hub leading to debt ‘breaking point’

Nowoselsky said the city is driving up its debt with the construction of ‘The Yard’ recreation district.

“We’re going to have a significant debt, and you’ve got to live within your means,” he said.

“I think we’ve extended ourselves to the breaking point.”

The city purchased 80 acres of land in the east end to build the recreation hub, which will include an arena and event centre, an aquatics centre, hotel and restaurant and shopping opportunities.

In June 2022, the city said the project’s estimated cost was bumped up to $113.8 million due to inflation.

In Nowoselsky’s civic platform posted to the city’s website, he said that the city is spending taxpayer dollars “recklessly.”

He said he supported a new aquatic centre if it would have been built on land the city already owned.

Flowers, better street cleaning and snow removal needed

Another one of Nowoselsky’s priorities is to beautify the city with improved street cleaning and snow removal, as well as adding flowers to the downtown area.

He also referred to a greater revitalization of Central Avenue and the riverbank.

“Why do little towns and small cities like Melfort and Kinistino (have to) be more beautiful than PA?” he questioned.

He said “basic services,” such as street sweeping, should occur more than once a year.

Community approach to addictions to drive down theft

Nowoselsky said drug and alcohol addictions are fuelling theft and violence in Prince Albert, and that the city needs to address the root cause with a community-based approach.

This means putting more resources into education and treatment options, he said.

“If some people continue to get drunk and steal or are violent, let’s have firmer sanctions. It’s got to be dealt with. You’ve got to have a city that people can feel comfortable,” he said.

Nowoselsky encouraged Ward 8 residents to to cast their votes, saying by-elections often have poor voter turnout.

“I’m hoping the citizens will know that their voice counts,” he said.

The other candidates are Pamela Sukut, Doug Erickson, Peter Friedrichsen and Darren Solomon. 

This is the third candidate profile for the Ward 8 by-election. The Prince Albert Daily Herald has run profiles on Darren Solomon and Doug Erickson. Please see future editions of the Herald for profiles on Pamela Sukut and Peter Friedrichsen.