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This article was published 1/10/2018 (416 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Roads, parks and economic growth are among the top priorities for Scott Gillingham during his second run for City council.
Prior to being elected in 2014 in the former St. James-Brooklands-Weston ward, Gillingham, 50, worked as a pastor for 22 years.
"I see it as another way to serve the community," he said of his decision to enter municipal politics.
The St. James incumbent’s last campaign focused largely on improving infrastructure in the ward — something Gillingham believes he has delivered on.
"I’ve been able to respect the residents by ensuring that roads are a priority," he said, pointing to the City’s $116-million 2018 road renewal budget and the resulting roadwork on Ness Avenue and St. James and Empress streets as examples.
"That’s translating into a lot of residential streets in St. James being rebuilt, a lot of regional streets as well being rebuilt, and they were some of the streets that were in the worst condition in the city."
For Gillingham, highlights of the last four years on council include leading the revitalization of Weston Park and the upgrading and renaming of Amherst Park to Kapyong Park in honour of soldiers who fought in the Korean War.
He has served as chair of the Winnipeg Police Board and the standing policy committee on finance and has served as the council liaison for Veteran and Military Affairs, a position he helped create.
Looking ahead, Gillingham has his sights set on developing the portion of CentrePort Canada that falls within the ward near the Richardson International Airport.
"It’s critical that we develop CentrePort, I’ve been committed to that. I’ve worked hard to get money into this year’s budget to ensure that we can find out what it would cost to develop it," he said. "As we develop those industrial lands, that means jobs for this community, it means economic benefits for St. James.
"This election in St. James is about leadership in the future and we really need to look at the future because we have some exciting opportunities, but we have some big challenges as well," he said.
According to Gillingham, some of the challenges facing the city include budgeting for the provincially-mandated rehabilitation of the North End Sewage Treatment Plant and tackling the City’s current infrastructure deficit.
Gillingham is supportive of the development of the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre in Crestview.
He is one of three candidates running for a seat in St. James.
"Compared to the other candidates, I know I have the leadership experience," he said. "Being on council, it’s about representing the people in the ward and making decisions on their behalf, but also we’re building a city."
He and his wife of 25 years live in Silver Heights and have two adult children.
Eva Wasney reports on arts, culture and life for the Winnipeg Free Press.