Seasoned City councillor Ron Chapman is seeking a fourth term on Airdrie City council in the upcoming municipal election.
Chapman is the first incumbent candidate to announce his campaign for re-election thus far, with the election set for Oct. 18. He announced his candidacy on Aug. 3.
“I’ve still got a lot in me,” he said. “It was an easy decision, but it was one I didn’t take lightly. I wanted to make sure that I was running again for the right reasons.”
One of those reasons, he said, is to follow through with the various projects going on in Airdrie. Of particular interest, he noted, are the 40 Avenue highway bridge and interchange project, the new library, and the development of a recreation centre on the west side of the city.
Back in 2017, Chapman was elected with the most votes among all prospective councillors, with 10.4 per cent of the vote (5,591 votes) among a field that included 23 candidates.
He said he was “surprised” that no other incumbents have announced their intention to run again, as of press time.
According to a press release, the veteran councillor is also a husband, father and grandfather to 15 grandkids, and has called Airdrie home for the last 43 years. He said he and his wife Cheryl have lived in the same house in Summerhill since 1999.
Chapman currently manages Tiger Propane Ltd. and prior to that, worked at Lone Pine RV, Home Hardware and Totem Building Supplies.
Airdrie has grown exceptionally since Chapman first arrived in 1978 – expanding from a population of approximately 2,500 residents to nearly 75,000 in just over four decades.
Part of Chapman’s platform is acknowledging the need for an increase in services in the city, given the rapid growth in population that has left some gaps in the local framework.
“We did play catch-up. I think we’re on top of it now, but we have to make sure we stay on top of it,” he said.
If elected once again, Chapman said he will continue to advocate for additional RCMP officers, firefighters, Municipal Enforcement officers and Emergency Medical Response personnel within the city.
He also said he also wants to ensure voters that transparency and honesty are at the top of the list for him.
“I totally intend [for my campaign] to be very transparent”, Chapman said, adding he looks forward to seeing plenty of people while he’s on the campaign trail.
Chapman said there are several issues that have been brought to his attention by Airdronians amid the current term, although he can only advocate for the ones that are provincially regulated, such as health care.
“[We need] to advocate, to make sure we have more EMS units in Airdrie when we need them – there are a lot of times when we do not have coverage and our fire department is first on scene for a medical call,” Chapman said.
EMS response times in the city have been a contentious issue for some time – so much so that a town hall is being hosted Aug. 13, which residents can attend to listen and converse about the issue at hand.
With the election now just a few months away, Chapman said all he wants to do is continue to serve the people of Airdrie and to get things done.
“Any decisions I’ve ever made have always been for the best of Airdrie,” he said.
Chapman is the sixth candidate to register for the upcoming election, following on the heels of Reggie Lang, Mark Steffler, Lore Perez, Jay Raymundo and Trevor Cameron.
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