Alderman candidate says City needs new approach to business community
An Airdrie businessman is in the running for the upcoming Oct. 21 municipal election.
Ken Maines, a 13-year resident of Airdrie and owner of Racetrack RV has built his platform around the need to build and expand Airdrie’s business community and make the city a sought-after destination for new businesses and customers.
“The big box stores are not here, you look at the Highway 2 corridor and it’s vacant and empty,” said Maines.
Maines says the City’s current policies make it difficult to expand and grow businesses locally and he fears if changes aren’t made, residents will see tax hikes in the near future as the city’s population continues to grow.
“With the way that Airdrie is growing in population, we need to increase our service levels, and where does the money for these services come from? It has to come from somewhere,” said Maines. “We need to be bringing in more new businesses to Airdrie that will be paying large sums of property tax and in turn keep residential rates down. Right now, it’s a difficult process with the City as far as obtaining a business license.”
Maines says that the current council has done a fair job with respect to other issues such as 24-hour health care and managing the city’s growth.
“There’s no doubt that this city needs 24-hour health care, I don’t think anyone would argue with that,” said Maines. “We’re kind of at the mercy of the Province when it comes to that though, but it is definitely something that we all want.”
Managing the city’s growth, specifically the newly annexed 12,000 acres of land that the City acquired from Rocky View County in March 2012 has been discussed by a number of candidates, and while Maines acknowledges its importance, he believes the City must first look at expanding from within before moving outwards.
“We need to focus on our existing business in our inner-city first,” said Maines.
“You look at that corridor on Highway 2 and there’s nothing there to attract people to get off the highway, we need to change that, we need to get tourism dollars up and give people a reason to come to Airdrie.”