10/18/2013 08:17 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Ray Bessel for Edmonton Ward 10

While my front line political experience is not vast; my observation, acquired knowledge, business and life experience is enormous. I have varied and extensive experience on boards, executives and councils; which I find exhilarating! I can clearly articulate opinions, create valuable discussion, and through positive democratic procedures, work to achieve well informed decisions. From that point I have experience in moving through to ensure these important decisions move to the next step to become reality. You will likely find me at the front of a meeting, or discussion, captain of a team, leading, and mentoring. Recent experience facilitating communications classes has ignited a passion in me to be in the public eye; and use my given talents for the public good.

I represent the voice of many common, everyday Edmonton residents who find it increasingly difficult to keep up with inflation. Our city has many wonderful and emerging programs for ending homelessness, assisting the marginal income families, the disabled, arts and cultural communities. However, the average employed (and hard working) employed residents and seniors on a fixed income find their incomes are diminishing in the realm of increased costs of utilities, taxes, rents, mortgages and home cost maintenance.

We are so privileged to live in a beautiful city that provides so much in the way of World Class Amenities: museums, libraries, recreation centres, cultural, artistic events, festivals, live theatre and musical concerts. Our River Valley is the largest continuous park system in North America. However, many of us are either working two jobs, working part-time and attending post-secondary school, raising a family while either paying childcare or living on one income, or a senior on fixed income; that we don't have either the time or money to take advantage of these facilities and recreational advantages. We have to really look at quality of life; and work/life balance. We have to be progressive, sustainable, borrowing wisely for the way we grow; however ensuring we are being cost effective and efficient in our city administration and work force.

I enter the race without the luxury of a political machine behind me, without wealth or big business backing me; in fact will be working full time up to the election. I have watched many of the council meetings, studied the reports of council information, and the campaigns of the many fine people from all wards, who intend to enter. I can see myself on council, I know I would enjoy it and would be a distinguished and astute representative of Ward 10 and the residents of the city of Edmonton.

While I am outgoing and fun loving, I do have very high standards, ethics, and morals. I do have a spirit of excellence, carry myself with dignity and show respect for everyone. Why vote for me??? I love Edmonton, and have the passion and drive to make a great place to live even better! I want Edmonton to be the place my Grandson will be able to attend a school in his area, enjoy the facilities that we have, the places of higher education, the culture; and want to work and live here; without having to pay our debts of previous generations.

With humility, I enter the race to represent you Ward 10 and Edmonton residents on City council.