Well-known business banker running for council
Thursday, Sep 28, 2017 11:28 am
A face well known to Airdrie’s business community and in the volunteer sector, Shelley Bitz, has announced she’s running for a seat on Airdrie city council.
Bitz, who has lived in Airdrie for 38 years, said she’s decided now is the time to run for council because she wants to help lead the city in thinking more about the big picture.
“I think that there are bigger changes that actually need to happen in the city. We need to move forward rather than just sitting,” she said. “We’re sitting, just stagnant almost instead of making big decisions of what needs to happen for our future.”
The immense growth of Airdrie over the last 10 to 15 years is something Bitz said city council needs to address – in a different way.
“We missed the big picture and the identity of what we are. Having open spaces and open use spaces for the people who did move here to enjoy (is important),” she said. “Whether it be sports, whether it be the arts, whether it be the library – we forgot about those. We need to start forward thinking rather than just building houses and schools, otherwise people aren’t going to want to come here any longer because there’s not the amenities that are needed.
“We’re very family-oriented – the thought is always about the younger generation, which I one hundred per cent agree with – but we forget sometimes that, that younger generation has parents that like to do things when they’re not being parents and those parents have parents that sometimes need to start living closer or with them. We concentrate so much on one area that we forget all of the generations.”
Bitz said she thought the key was bringing private, public and business dollars together to accomplish what the community needs.
Through 38 years of living in Airdrie, Bitz said she has developed a strong understanding of the city’s heritage and how it can best grow. She has volunteered with a number of different local organizations and for a variety of events, including the Airdrie Pro Rodeo, Airdrie Rotary and the Airdrie Health Foundation.
“I’ve demonstrated myself as a citizen who actually cares and gives back to many of the organizations that matter,” she said. “I’m creative as far as out of the box thinking. I started the Light Up the Night gala for the health foundation – getting the big idea and working down from there to come up with something that’s very successful.
“I’ve been a business banker in the community for 13 years. As far as seeing what is needed to run business, I see the positive things, I see the negatives. I have to ask the people in front of me the tough questions to make (sense) of what their plan is. I’d do exactly the same thing on city council.”