Derrick Greenwood is looking for a seat at the table – of Airdrie City council, that is.
The Airdrie resident of five years recently filed his nomination papers to run for a councillor position in the upcoming municipal election on Oct. 18. While new to politics, Greenwood said he has always been a vocal community advocate. He is an ambassador for the 100 Airdrie Men Who Give a Damn, a treasurer for the Sundre Legion, a vice-president for the Airdrie Highlanders Youth Athletic Association rugby club and a founding board member of the Airdrie Sport Council.“I certainly don’t call myself a politician,” he said. “I never aspired to be a politician, but I am a community advocate and am very vocal and active in any community I live in. [Our family is] very happy here, and it’s on me now to put my money where my mouth is.”
Greenwood said his platform includes three focuses – sustainable growth, increased youth opportunities, and traffic mitigation.
Regarding the first point, Greenwood said he has noticed how much Airdrie has grown since his family moved to the city, and said the municipal government needs to adapt to that constant growth while balancing residents’ desire for the city to maintain a small-town feel.
He added he sees growth management as the municipality’s biggest focus for the next four years.
“I think we’re at the point where we’re not quite a small city anymore,” he said. “The change to become a medium-to-larger city is a painful one, so we need to look at how we do that, how we get more businesses, how we get more people to come here, traffic, and amenities for our residents to keep it such a great place.”
As a father to young children, Greenwood said he has noticed how many Airdrie youth eventually leave the city for work, recreational or educational purposes. With that in mind, his second platform point is to help the City develop more local opportunities that keep kids within city limits.
As for traffic mitigation, Greenwood said he has lived in a few different countries, and has seen how other nations design their traffic systems to allow for smoother traffic flows. He said there is room for improvement when it comes to making Airdrie’s roadways more efficient and safe.
“It’s not just about residential areas, speed limits or even enforcement,” he said. “It’s about traffic flows and recognizing that if we make the roadway system as efficient as it can be, people won’t feel like they’re in such a hurry and won’t need to be struggling to get where they’re going. Looking at that holistically and working on different ways to approach some of the traffic problems as we continue to grow is important to keep in mind.”
Career-wise, Greenwood is a manager for CP Rail, working in the information systems department. He said he’s held that position since returning to Canada five years ago, after living in Beijing, China and London, England for a decade.
He added his career has been built on “being someone that gets things done on a budget,” and said this skillset would be an asset on council.
“For over 20 years, I’ve built a reputation for completing things and accomplishing things that a lot of people didn’t think would be possible,” he said. “I think bringing the idea of being able to manage a budget, being able to lead a team of people to accomplish great things...are things I pride myself in and am pretty good at.”
When asked why he is running for council, Greenwood said he simply wants to help Airdrie continue to thrive.
“Frankly, I think I’m better at the table trying to help work through [challenges] than when I’m just sitting on the sidelines,” he said. “For me, it’s just about being involved and trying to contribute what I can to make the city as good as it can be.”
For more on the candidate, visit DerrickGreenwood.ca