Rolly Ashdown, 51, has been anticipating this fall’s Rocky View County election for the past three years.
After being defeated in the last election, he is ready to throw his hat into the ring to represent Division 4, which includes the communities of Langdon and Indus, as well as the surrounding rural areas.
“I have been waiting for the past three years for this election to come up,” said Ashdown.
Ashdown, who lives on an acreage about 11 kilometres from Langdon, first got involved in Rocky View County politics in 2003. In recent years, he has maintained a keen interest in County politics and has acquired a great deal of knowledge on Rocky View’s budget and planning documents, such as the Growth Management Strategy, the Municipal Development Policy and the many Area Structure Plans.
He has first-hand experience with the subdivision and rezoning processes and is familiar with the Municipal Government Act.
“I know the documents,” said Ashdown. “After the election, I will be ready to take over.”
If elected, Ashdown sees his involvement as a full-time commitment to represent all the residents of Rocky View County.
He is confident he can help solve some of the issues leading to unrest within the County in areas such as Bragg Creek, Langdon and Springbank.
“I think residents should be satisfied that they are in a pooled (centralized) government and I think Rocky View should constantly be showing them they are looking after them,” said Ashdown. “Council should be able to do that easily through policies and good communication.”
According to Ashdown, some of the disagreement in the county comes from a lack of communication and public input.
“I would like to see the unrest dealt with,” said Ashdown. “People are afraid of the unknown. It really comes down to communication and accessibility.”
His plan is to make himself available to constituents to answer their tough questions and address their concerns.
“People have a lot of questions,” said Ashdown. “I am willing to invest as much time as it takes in researching those questions.
He said council is heading in the right direction when it comes to planning.
“The path they are on now is a good one,” said Ashdown. “I watched them have a need, I watched them start it, now I want to help them finish it.”
Ashdown has been active within the community as a member of the Bow North Recreation Board, the Shepard Community Association and the South East Calgary Recreational Society.
“I would like to be on more boards that are inter-municipal,” said Ashdown. “I think I can improve relations with Calgary, Foothills and Wheatland because I have a common sense approach.”
Ashdown’s 20 years in real estate have given him a familiarity with due process, negotiation tactics, effective communication, legal responsibility and how to conduct meaningful research.
He said he would bring a common sense approach and positive outlook to decision making. He said his commitment to research would give him credibility with his fellow councillors.
“I will absolutely know that whatever decisions I make will be sound, because they will be well researched and thought out,” said Ashdown. “That includes a lot of input from the people who vote.”
According to Ashdown, municipal leaders are lucky because they deal with people individually and can make decisions based on the facts, rather than party politics.
“Many people don’t want to get involved with municipal politics,” said Ashdown. “I find it invigorating. I think you can make a big difference because it is not partisan.”