Okotoks resident Ryan Brown is among two dozen to put their name forward for a council position.
During Brown’s nearly 19 years as an Okotoks resident, he’s been a chair on the United Way committee, served three terms with the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board, and has coached minor baseball for a few years.
He works as a civil infrastructure estimator and has experience in project management, and hopes to put those skills to use on council.
One of the issues he’s like to put to bed is the regional water plan.
“It will require a number of applications to be submitted to the province and we’ll also require submission of an appeal to the grant application that was turned down by the provincial government. I plan to inject myself into this process and utilize my experience to push the project to construction.”
Brown is also eager to lend his experience to the 2023 Summer Games, which are being hosted in Okotoks and Black Diamond.
He says he’d like to capitalize on the games as much as possible in order to recoup the town’s investment, and then some.
“With this not being held until 2023, it gives our town ample time to plan and attract sponsorship, support, and create a volunteer base, and also build and improve our sporting infrastructure. I feel the timing of these games couldn’t be more perfect. It’s hopefully going to be with COVID in the rear-view mirror and it will be an opportunity to bring out town and community together and mend the divide that’s become so prevalent in our community.”
Support for local businesses is something else he’d like to foster, as well as attracting new businesses. He feels a water solution will be an important step in that process, which will eventually lead to an easing of the tax burden on residents.
He’s also been hearing a lot about affordable housing from residents on the campaign trail.
Brown was happy to see the progress made by the town in partnering with Westwinds Communities and the Brenda Strafford Society for an affordable housing development in D’Arcy and would like to run with it and support similar projects if elected.
He’d also like to support grants and policies that foster more affordable living in town, including the Senior’s Property Tax Deferral Program, and the Secondary Suite Dwelling Unit Grant Program.
Given the infrastructure commitments and projects that are underway from the sitting council, Brown thinks he’d be an asset in moving them forward.
“I felt that, without people on council who have some experience in civil infrastructure and the processes involved, we could potentially stall out the progress made by the previous council and it could also result in increased costs to our tax base due to that lack of experience. I felt that my professional experience was something that the other council members could potentially lean on when approaching projects like this.”
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