Leier says running to become a councillor for the City of Lethbridge was never top of mind for himself. After talking with a few current people on council he was convinced to brave the political storm.
He was born and raised in Lethbridge, and later became an air traffic controller in the city. “At the time we had good passenger traffic. Time Air was here, and we had a lot of flight training,” says Leier.
One of his main goals if elected is to provide more capital spending for the Lethbridge Airport, which he says has been managed poorly since the city took it over from the County.
“The problem is the way that it’s structured right now. The ability to be able to fund improvement, growth, and setting up a proper marketing program isn’t there. The city has paid an enormous amount of money for numerous studies for many years. One of the recommendations was that they adopt a different governance model. They’ve never gotten around to that. Although they have put some more money into maintenance and a few things like that, it’s still languishing compared to what other airports are doing where they have a proper governance model.”
Leier says people want to have nice things, but they also want taxes reduced. Since Lethbridge has one of the highest property and business taxes in Canada, it can be tough to navigate those waters to create a good balance.
As part of his platform, he says he will focus on economic development to be able to fund projects in the city, while also bringing down the tax rate for Lethbridge residents.
Transparency and accountability are also top of mind for Leier going into campaign mode, “How the decisions are made by council, and how they are being carried out by the administration,” adds Leier.
He says Lethbridge has a lot of issues to deal with, but the city can offer leadership to help facilitate organizations and groups that are close to the issues.
“I’m really excited about the prospect of working with First Nations. They’ve got a lot of history here that needs to be respected. Many of the people that I know from the Blood Reserve are very excited about the future. We have to get over some of the past, and I get that. There’s more people that want to look forward than back. I know we can work together and collectively we’ll all see improvement.”