Don Gullekson is looking to market Lacombe to Albertans who are looking to find a beautiful, safe place to live.
He looks to achieve this by running for Lacombe City council this fall.
“The reason I am running is that I want to give back to my community and it is an extension of my volunteer work I have been doing over the last number of years,” Gullekson said.
“It is the next step and a way I want to give back to Lacombe.”
Gullekson feels his time working in the utility industry will give him a leg up when it comes to discussing business and administrative matters.
“I worked 37 years for ATCO Gas,” he said.
“I was the manager for the office in Lacombe for a number of those years and during that time I worked with a number of municipalities across the province. I have a pretty good feeling about how municipal politics works.
“I also have an understanding about how it works on the utilities side, regarding franchises and how they operate. I think that would be a real bonus for council.”
Gullekson noted he feels that his time as a citizen will also be an asset to the people of Lacombe.
“I have lived in Lacombe for 25 years and I have a good feeling for what the needs are,” he said.
“Certainly, my willingness to listen — to businessmen especially — will give me a good feel for what is needed in the City.”
Selling the asset that is Lacombe is something he feels he can bring to the council chambers.
“The biggest thing for me is marketing,” he said.
“We have a great product here, our City is beautiful and it is a great place to live. I don’t know if enough people know about it. I talked to an individual the other day and he had been driving past here for 20 years. He made a pit stopped and was shocked with how beautiful this community is.
“We need to fix that and we do that by marketing our community in a different way.”
Lacombe is in a good position to sell itself, despite tough economic times.
“Right now the economy is the biggest issue for a lot of people, with the downturn,” he said.
“We need to position ourselves to be ready for when the Alberta economy comes back. It will come back at some point and we need to be ready.
“That west end development is something I am very excited about and I think it will really showcase our community when the boom comes back again.”
Fiscally, Gullekson intends to be be prudent with taxpayer dollars.
“I certainly would be considered a conservative in my thinking as far as the fiscal side goes,” he said.
“One thing I would always want to ask anytime we have spending is ‘why’. I want to be make sure that if we are spending money, there are good reasons behind it.
“People in the past have said, ‘They are spending money for no reason’. I would make sure we are aware of the reasoning behind it before something happens.”
The current mayor and council have done a good job, according to Gullekson, however he feels he will bring a new voice to the discussion.
“I think they have certainly done a good job serving the community,” he said.
“Anytime someone steps up and takes on those positions, you have to give them credit. It is not an easy thing to do and when they give their time back to the community, you have to give them credit for doing that. Would I be a little different on council? I think so and it may be time for some change, but I give them credit for doing the job they have done so far.”
He added, “One of the things in my policies is that Lacombe is one of the safest communities in Alberta. I think that is another area we can market and target senior people looking for a place to retire.
“Safety and security are very important to them. With our own police force, who have done an excellent job; it is a way to promote people to come to Lacombe.”