With the appointment of realtor Andre Aubut July 20, the new composition of the Airdrie Main Street Square (AMSQ) board is complete.
Aubut joins Dustin Fedun, Art Skow and Martin Durocher as the public members of the board. City councillors Allan Hunter and Candice Kolson, as well as Mayor Peter Brown, are the members representing the city on the board.
“I really felt it was important to be involved in our community. There’s a lot of negative rhetoric around Main Street Square and we can either sit on the sidelines or get involved and participate,” Aubut said.
This is not the first time Aubut has served on a city board. He was previously a member of the Community Standards Advisory Board.
The 17-year veteran of the real estate business said he’s spent the last 10 years mainly involved in commercial sales and leasing.
“It’s in my forte. It’s in my comfort zone,” he said. “I think I can really add value to the board and I think that’s important to finding the right solution as to what to do with Main Street Square.”
AMSQ is the city’s wholly-owned, for-profit subsidiary set up by the city in 2004 to manage its real estate holdings.
The composition of the AMSQ board was changed to include four public members and three members from council after public outcry over a proposed redevelopment of Main Street Square, including City Hall and the Airdrie Public Library (APL), was announced in August 2016.
Fedun is currently a member of the APL board and works in the city as a banker.
“AMSQ is a really interesting entity in that it is a for-profit corporation run by the city. I currently do commercial lending and work with a lot of commercial and property developers,” he said.
Fedun said he is aware being a member of both the AMSQ and library boards could raise some questions.
“There’s some conversation right now trying to decide if (sitting on both boards) is something that’s possible. The APL board is technically a governance board – we actually work for the province, not for the city,” he said.
“The AMSQ is an advisory board to city council, so two very different roles. City bylaw reads that you cannot sit on two advisory boards at the same time. It looks like I will be able to remain with both but I’m honestly not sure at this moment.”
For Skow, who has more than 30 years of experience managing commercial real estate, deciding to apply to be part of the AMSQ board was a relatively simply decision.
“For me, the AMSQ just fits my experience and background perfectly,” he said. “What I’ve always prided myself in doing in my regular job is adding value to the properties that we manage for other parties. I look at, how can AMSQ most add value for the city.
“My understanding from my interview is that it’s somewhat of an open book right now – there’s no set agenda as to how it will proceed from here. It’s all open to review of that process.”
Durocher could not be reached for an interview by press time.
The AMSQ board is responsible for all aspects of managing the city’s real estate holdings, including leases, building maintenance and development.