Lacombe resident Jonathan Jacobson has announced that he will be running for a seat on City council this fall.
He decided to run after the last election, and has been involved in local politics in Lacombe behind-the-scenes for the last seven years.
“Seven years ago, I ran one of the current mayoral candidates Peter Bouwsema’s campaign for City council, and then four years ago I ran the current mayor’s campaign for Steve Christie. After that I decided I really wanted to get involved and throw my name in the ring next time,” said Jacobson.
Three years after that he served on the police commission in Lacombe with two years as chair, which he said was a good primer for what governance is like at the municipal level.
“I’m certainly looking forward to the debate and the discussion and putting my message out and seeing how that resonates with the citizens of Lacombe.”
He said with a lot of people talking about development and community engagement, which he said is important, where his strength lies, which comes from his day job, is being a big picture person.
“One of the things that I think is a problem with politics and politicians in general is that they often just tend to think in terms of their three- or five-year election cycles, so they make decisions that they hope will be good for the next three years.” But maybe they’re not the best decisions when they’re aren’t thinking 15, 20, and maybe 50 years down the road, he added.
He said if you look at successful government models in the world, they’re making decisions with a very long-term view.
“That’s because economics of governments are much different than a business or a family, and so you have to be able to have that wisdom to make those types of decisions that have that long horizon. That’s what I want to lay out in my campaign.”
When asked what he’d like to see for Lacombe going forward, he said he doesn’t think there’s a lot wrong with the City, and that it’s more a matter of growing on the strengths the community already has.
“Some of the things I do want to accomplish in the short-term are maybe cleaning up some of our non-performing real estate assets we have back,” he said, adding that he has some expertise in that area as he’s a real estate developer.
He said he also hopes to help in installing a philosophy that understands what the City’s role is in creating growth and long-term prosperity.
“When problems are created is when those roles get confused and governments tend to start delving into areas that they’re not best suited for, so that’s what I’d like to bring to the table in terms of what the City can accomplish.”
Jacobson has lived in Lacombe full-time since 2005 and part-time since 1997, as he attended high school and university there.
He said he brings a different perspective to the race in that he’s the youngest, if not one of the youngest candidates and has a young family.
“I experience on a daily basis the concerns that young families would experience and I bring that voice to the table,” he said, adding that he would also bring a fresh voice to City council as well.
He said he is also someone who has the big picture on the brain, not just thinking about what’s going to be good next year and the year after, but also what will be good for our kids and grandkids as well.
Jacobson lives in Lacombe with his wife and daughter.