Chris Ross wants to get involved.
Born and raised just outside of the City of Lacombe, Ross said he has always taken an interest in the community.
He said his frustrations and feelings that Lacombe has missed out on a lot of business led him to run for council.
However, Ross added that his opinions are purely from an “outside looking in” perspective and he doesn’t know the whole story behind the decisions made by the City of Lacombe and its council because he has never been a part of it.
So, he wants to become a part of it.
“We need to move forward.”
Ross said that this next council will be faced with a critical time in moving the City forward.
He also said that the City needs to get its priorities straight and that he is not sure now was the best time to examine things like Lacombe’s garbage situation when there are other things he feels are more pressing that need to be dealt with, like a serious lack of residential lots or lack of commercial and industrial development.
Lacombe’s residential tax base needs to be shown there is a plan, said Ross. He added the City is in great need of establishing relationships to bring in industrial and commercial development and business.
Ross went on to say that Lacombe is lacking facilities in many areas that are drawing people out of the City.
As such, Lacombe is losing the dollars spent by those people to neighbouring communities.
It’s something Ross would like to change.
He added with Lacombe being the size it is and now a City, it should have more of the major business franchises within its boundaries so that people don’t go looking for those businesses and franchises elsewhere.
“Part of economic development is keeping your local dollars within your local community,” said Ross. Without those necessary relationships, Lacombe will stay at a frustrating standstill, he added.
Not only does Lacombe need to attract more business, it needs to start actively seeking out businesses to bring to Lacombe, said Ross.
He added that when businesses do come to Lacombe, they need to be accommodated.
Ross went on to say attracting large franchises would not hurt local business.
Instead, he said it would bring more people to Lacombe which in turn means more dollars being spent at all businesses.
“More traffic to the larger venues will create more traffic to support the smaller ones.”
Ross advocated for more multi-use facilities such as the arts centre proposed by the C4 Initiative.
He said it might be appropriate to have a building utilized by both arts and sports groups, saying both types of venues are needed in Lacombe.
“It would be more viable to have a bigger building together,” said Ross.
He added that recreational facilities in general are needed as well as other amenities for the use of families.
Without those amenities, Ross said Lacombe will be surpassed by the growth of neighbouring communities.
Being very proud of the community he calls home, Ross said he would strive to always represent Lacombe’s best interests.
He added he is approachable and will listen to the concerns of Lacombe residents.
“I’m very much a people person,” said Ross.
“It’s time to start listening to the people.”
Voters will head to the polls on Oct. 21.