Airdrie resident and local handyman Ron Chapman has decided to run for alderman this fall.
“I believe if you start with a good foundation, whatever you build on top of it will be strong. If you start with a shoddy foundation, anything you build on it will be weak. Plan your work, work your plan,” said the 50-year-old.
He hopes to bring planning and building issues to the forefront of the City’s agenda, and coerce City hall to go back to a common sense approach when it comes to handling taxpayer’s money.
“I think I can help the City make a change,” he said. “With taxes, we have to be realistic. We can’t expect to reduce taxes a whole bunch but we need to maintain them to a minimum increase and streamline the whole process. We need to reorganize the way the City does business.”
Since moving to Airdrie in 1978, after what was supposed to be a visit to the city, Chapman knew that he was at home.
Chapman has worked at the local Home Hardware Building Centre for the past seven years and has watched the city grow from a small town of 2,500.
“I’m all about doing it right the first time and there have been a number of projects in Airdrie that weren’t done right,” he said.
“I see Airdrie as a very vibrant and thriving city. I think further in the future, the growth will settle down to a reasonable pace that can be maintained. We need to plan infrastructure ahead of time and have a clear vision down the road.”
He said other important issues in Airdrie include 24-hour health care, an EMS station on the west side, an increase in arts and culture and expanding the role of municipal enforcement in policing the community.
Chapman and his wife Cheryl have a family of six children, Shawn, Jennifer, Natasha, Christine, Courtney and Kurt and three grandchildren Kia, Lucas and Ryder, with two more on the way. Three of their children reside in Airdrie, along with one grandchild.
“It will be a balancing act,” he said of his job as an alderman, if he is elected.
“My family is very supportive of me on this endeavour.”
It is through his family that he and his wife have become involved with local organizations, having volunteered with Airdrie Boys and Girls Club, Airdrie Girl Guides, Junior Forest Rangers, Airdrie Family Services and others.
Before working at Home Hardware Building Centre, Chapman worked for three years at Totem Building Supplies. He believes his strengths have been realized through his consistent dealings with the public.
“I have two ears and one mouth and I listen twice as much as I talk,” he said.
“I believe that when you talk, you should make sure you are heard and understood. Being in retail, you have to be able to problem solve and be able to deal with people in a diplomatic but fair manner. It’s like a duck in the water, on the surface you remain calm, but under water you are paddling for all you are worth.”
Chapman has been a licensed pilot for 23 years. He believes that this allows him to be able to adjust under stress and respond appropriately.
“Being a pilot has a number of transferable skills including problem solving, being able to think fast and effectively dealing with stress.”
He is also a certified PADI rescue diver. But his claim to fame is that he’s been the chicken-wing eating champion for four years, helping to raise money for the Airdrie Boys and Girls Club and Airdrie Family Services/Community Links - a title he hopes to regain this year.
“It is something fun I do on the side and the money goes to a great cause,” he said.
For more information on Ron Chapman and his campaign, visit www.RonChapmanForAlderman.ca or email [email protected] or phone 403-992-4604.