Councillor Al Jones has lived in Airdrie for more than 27 years.
The multi-media sales strategist has been on City council for four years and says he is running again because he wants to see the projects he has worked on through to fruition.
- Why are you running for office?
There is a lot I would like to see through, such as the completion of the 40th Avenue overpass and the new public library. I’d like to see more of the amenities we’ve been able to add during my term on council, such as the pickle ball courts, the new disc golf course, new playgrounds added in newer communities and many other amenities that add to the quality of life for all Airdronians.
2. How will you help to make Airdrie a better place to live, work and play?
Advocacy to higher levels of government will be key to obtaining the necessary funding for social programs and amenities that allow us to promote healthy, active living. I believe I will add value to that voice of advocacy. I also want to see significant gains in programming to deal with mental health issues. The pandemic we’ve all endured over the past 20 months has taken a heavy toll on many of our residents. We need to have resources to ensure healing for those that have been significantly affected.
3. What is the most important issue in this election and how do you plan to address it?
Quality of life. Ensuring that our residents get good value for their tax dollars. I plan on working alongside council and staff to steer decisions towards value for investment.
- How do you plan to be transparent and accountable to your constituents?
As in the past, my email and phone number will be public. I am only a phone call or email away for residents to pose questions or address concerns.
- Why should residents vote for you?
Although I’ve only been a member of council for four years, I’ve been active in the community and advocating for local causes and initiatives for 26. I’ve worked alongside neighbours and friends to build playgrounds, host events such as air shows, provincial games, festivals and many other community events. I have sat on numerous not-for-profit boards and committees. I don’t run for office because of a need for passion in my community…. I run for office because I’m passionate for my community. I believe that from an elected, recognized position on council, I will have access to the proper entities to effectively advocate for our needs as a city.
We asked our readers/followers on social media what they wanted to know from City of Airdrie candidates and came up with three questions.
The answers for each candidate will be listed here and posted to airdrielife‘s social media channels on Sept 22 (question 1), Sept 29 (questions 2) and Oct 6 (question 3).
Editor’s Note: The answers below are completely unedited and appear here exactly as they were sent to airdrielife via email.
1. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action published 94 “calls to action” urging all levels of government — federal, provincial, territorial and aboriginal — to work together to change policies and programs in a concerted effort to repair the harm caused by residential schools and move forward with reconciliation. Which of the Calls to Action do you believe the City of Airdrie council should focus on?
With all due respect, this question indirectly highlights much of the problem with the reconciliation process thus far. ‘I’ shouldn’t be deciding what we should be working on first or how we can make a bigger difference. ‘We’ should be consulting the Treaty Seven nations and Metis Nation, region 3 on ‘How’ we can make a bigger difference and ‘What’ we can collectively do to aid them in a better future. Through direct consultation with those affected, we can truly make a difference.
2. How would you work to improve arts and culture infrastructure and opportunities in the city if you were elected?
This question is tough, because art is subjective. What I like is not necessarily what others might like. We have amenities now that rarely get used. The amphitheater in Nose Creek Park gets used very little. The Gazebo in Jenson Park by the plainsmen arena has been the setting for a number of local bands and events, yet most weekends, it remains empty. Perhaps raising awareness to performing artists that these amenities are available to them might rectify this. The new Library, once opened, will hopefully give us opportunity to display much more art from the local community. I visualize in my mind, paintings, photography and sculptures from local artists throughout the decor, giving them an audience to sell their works to. For cinematographers, perhaps we need to have a festival or two each summer to showcase their works. Covid hasn’t allowed any of our arts community any significant opportunities to showcase their talents over the past two years, but moving forward, I believe art festivals as well as other festivals that include opportunities for the arts community will make a comeback.
3. What is your vision to help progress Airdrie’s economic growth over the next 10 years?
We need to attract some larger employers to our community that pay higher wages so as to enable more Airdrie residents to work closer to home. This will also aid smaller businesses and restaurants by having a larger workforce with expendable earnings. We also need to get our community to become more active. As the pandemic ends, our economic development team needs to actively seek out more sporting events, festivals and family friendly activities, thus attracting tourism and giving people cause to explore more of our city and discovering many of the wonderful small businesses we have already.