Meet the councillors: Andrew Knack and Erin Rutherford to tackle transportation

Andrew Knack has become the current longest serving city councillor in Edmonton, and he's promising to use the knowledge and wisdom he's gained during his past two terms to boost the success of the eight newly elected councillors.

"I had long-term city councillors who wanted to help me bring my ideas forward, even if they were going to vote against (them)," the Ward Nakota Isga councillor told Speaking Municipally of his experience joining council for the first time in 2013.

"I want to try to return that favour and help out those who have their own ideas and their own vision... and make sure they can be as successful as possible."

One of those rookie councillors is Ward Anirniq's Erin Rutherford, who beat incumbent Bev Esslinger in northwest Edmonton.

Rutherford, who has 15 years of experience in public administration, told Taproot's municipal affairs podcast that she plans to address the bus network redesign, to ensure it is accessible and works for residents who rely on transit.

"It's about acknowledging what those imperfections are, and how do we take the system we have and make it work based on the feedback that all of us as council... have heard since the implementation of that bus network redesign."

Similarly, Knack said his priority over the next four years will be implementing the City Plan, including looking at how Edmonton invests in transit and active transportation.

"I think the City Plan was designed in a way that provides a very strong vision for the future of our city. And I want to spend the vast majority of my time implementing that plan," he said.

Andrew Knack in a blue suit, taking the oath, and Erin Rutherford in a purple blazer, speaking to an array of media microphones

Andrew Knack is representing Nakota Isga, and Erin Rutherford is the new councillor in Anirniq. (Flickr/Mack Male)

While Knack doesn't think there are any gaps in the City Plan, he said one potential challenge could be whether council will invest the funds required to fully implement it.

"Words on a... piece of paper is one thing. Actually putting that into action is what's going to be critical for this council," he said. "We can talk about the City Plan all we want, but if we're not going to invest in it, then it means nothing."

As for Rutherford, she also would like to see Edmonton establish "community safety in a holistic sense" over the next four years.

"Tackling some of those police issues that we've been hearing about, tackling traffic safety, making people feel comfortable being in their community... is something I really hope to work on," she added.

Episode 157 of Speaking Municipally also covers this council's first public hearing and its first contentious motion, which was on pausing a sale of greenfield land holdings.