Saskatoon is getting to know Devon Hein.
The name raised eyebrows after the nomination period for the civic election closed on Wednesday and a finalized list of candidates was released.
The lifelong Saskatonian was still collecting signatures outside of city hall hours before the deadline, leading some to question whether his bid was a last-minute decision.
“I don’t think there’s anything in the rules against doing that,” he said. “This has been in the planning for several months.”
Hein, 51, said he’s worked on several political campaigns in the past.
He’s also worked for SaskTel and is a former Saskatoon Hilltop.
He said he decided to run after seeing the direction incumbent Don Atchison was taking council.
“It’s become obvious that voters need some change,” he said. “The kind of tax increases that are coming in year after year are just getting to be too much.”
Hein is looking to “hold the line” on taxation and is campaigning on a zero per cent increase to municipal taxes if he’s elected.
He said there hasn’t been enough debate from the three other candidates about the tax burden on citizens.
“Those three candidates are city hall insiders,” he said. “They all seem to be more than happy to allow tax increases.”
He specifically took aim at “kingdom building” projects along the riverfront like the Remai Modern Art Gallery, saying they cost taxpayers too much money.
Hein will be up against four-term incumbent Don Atchison, Charlie Clark and former urban city planner Kelley Moore for the top job.
Former Mayor Henry Dayday dropped out of the race earlier this week after seeing his polling numbers drop, questioning why he would spend time and money on a race he wouldn’t win.
Hein has never served on city council or held elected office.
But rather than seeing that as a hindrance, he prefers to view it as a strength.
“We probably need to get away from having somebody who’s that deeply dug in to city hall culture,” he said.
“Get somebody in from the outside who essentially only wants to represent voters. Someone who doesn’t carry along with them a special agenda.”
The newest entry to the field made his first campaign appearance Wednesday afternoon at a closed mayoral candidate forum hosted by the Saskatoon Home Builders’ Association.