Citing a desire to spend more time with his family and give others the opportunity to help shape Airdrie’s future, Deputy Mayor Kelly Hegg announced Aug. 31 that he is not seeking re-election for Airdrie City council in the upcoming municipal election.
“[It’s time] to give somebody else an opportunity to jump in and represent the city and do some great work,” said Hegg, who is currently seeing out his fifth term on council.
To date, Hegg is the only member of the current council to formally announce there will not be a campaign on their behalf in the Oct. 18 election.
Prior to being elected for the first time in 2004, Hegg worked as an educator and principal with the Calgary Board of Education (CBE). Following his retirement from the CBE, Hegg worked with the Alberta Teacher’s Association.
Hegg and his wife Karen moved to Airdrie from Calgary 26 years ago to raise their children, Connor and Quinn-Marie. The small-town feel was what enticed the couple to make the move, he said.
However, Hegg added that at the time, the city they decided to lay their roots didn’t have the necessary amenities and services required for a growing family, which motivated him to become an advocate for change.
Particular projects of success for Hegg during his 17 years on council include the introduction of an urgent care facility in the city, with the opening of the Airdrie Community Health Centre in 2007, infrastructural improvements on Yankee Valley Boulevard, the relocation and implementation of Airdrie’s current public library, improvements to Genesis Place Recreation Centre, the local food bank, and public transit.
“I have been proud to have been a voice with successive City councils who actively advocated for health and education with the provincial government. [I’m] proud to have worked to plan the new communities and infrastructure that we see and use today, [and] proud to work to see that no one is left behind,” Hegg said in a written statement.
He added that throughout his time on council, Airdrie continued to grow in population, and it was important for him to “separate the wants from the needs” in order to ensure the city flourished.
“The city is a wonderful place to be. I think it’s gotten better over time and it’s gotten bigger, but that hasn’t decreased the community feel that we’ve always had here,” Hegg said.
“People have the opportunity to live, work, and play here, and that’s something council has always had as a goal.”
While Hegg is ready to relinquish his long-time councillor title, he had a piece of advice for his replacement.
“You need to have a passion for people and for community – for this community,” he said. “It’s being able to listen to what people have to say and trying to make it work with the resources that we have available to us.”
As of Oct. 18, Hegg will officially be retired from his duties as an Airdrie City councillor, after nearly two decades in the position. Although he said his next adventure is waiting, as he and his wife hope to take advantage of the lifting of travel restrictions and spend some more time together.
“It’s time to get out and see the world,” he said.