Todd Brand, one of two incumbent trustees on the Rocky View Schools (RVS) Board of Trustees for Ward 3, has announced he will seek re-election.
“I’m really excited both to run again and, if elected, to serve. I feel like I was part of a board that was able to accomplish a great deal of good over the last four years. Individually, we did well, and as a group, we did really well,” he said.
“I honestly didn’t know as much as I thought I did going into my first round of being a trustee. I feel like I’ve got a lot left to offer. There (are) a lot of things I still want to work on and help our school division to achieve and excel at.”
Residents will vote on who they want to be their RVS trustee during the municipal election Oct. 16. Due to ward boundary changes, Airdrie will now have three representatives on the board, up from the current two. The other serving Airdrie trustee, Sylvia Eggerer, has indicated she will retire after this term and not seek re-election.
Brand said RVS continues to face significant challenges, particularly around funding.
“The infrastructure is still going to be the biggest issue we have going forward. We’re such a fast growing school division that we have to continue to be at the very front end of trying to get school allocations from the provincial government,” he said. “We need to be at the forefront of making sure that people know that the need in Rocky View is not the same as the need in other school divisions.
“Part of it is advocacy, making sure we get the sites we need from the government. The second part is once those sites start being put in place, making sure we help our education centre staff do a real effective job of helping people through transition. It’s very difficult to ask people to keep moving around schools and to keep opening schools which requires boundary changes.”
Brand said he thought he’d done a good job as trustee during his first term and hoped voters would see their way to re-electing him.
“I provide a good blend of both leadership and experience. I feel like I’m a good team player; that I work well with the rest of the board, but I also feel like I’m more than willing to ensure the needs of Airdrie are put at the forefront of peoples’ decisions. (I’m) a clear voice for the residents of Airdrie, those are the ones who elected me,” he said. “I make sure that Airdrie’s concerns are well heard. At the same time, I feel that I’m very confident that I’m looking out for the interests of the entire school division.”
A number of incumbent trustees have decided not to run in the October election, including Bev LaPeare, Colleen Munro and Eggerer. The board was also saddened by the sudden loss of Ward 4 Trustee Helen Clease, who lost her battle with cancer July 27. Brand said he felt having a sense of continuity on the board after the election would be important and hoped residents would see fit to re-elect him, given his now four years of experience.
“I feel that having some experienced trustees at the table is going to make a big difference in the effectiveness of this board,” he said. “We’re not as complex as Calgary Public or Edmonton Catholic…but we’re so much more complex than a lot of other school boards, because of our growth. Only the four metros are bigger than Rocky View now.”
Brand was chosen by his fellow trustees to serve as vice chair of the board during his first term. He and his family have been residents of Airdrie for 11 years and during that time, he has been involved in the community in a variety of ways, including sitting on the City of Airdrie’s Community Services Advisory Board for several years, serving as a member of the Airdrie and District Soccer Association and as sponsorship co-ordinator for the Airdrie Festival of Lights Society.
Brand can be reached at 403-608-2710 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org