Douglas enters race for council seat
Sandy Douglas will make a second attempt to make it on to council. (Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe)
Sandy Douglas wants Lacombe residents to question what should come first – the chicken or the egg – when it comes to bettering the city.
Douglas, 64, announced his intentions to make a second run at becoming a city councillor last Tuesday, and is placing a focus on promoting Lacombe and attracting businesses to the city.
In order to bring commercial businesses in, he says, Lacombe – once known as the “Crossroads of the Parkland – needs to be become more attractive.
“I don’t know why they threw that moniker out. It’s absolutely what we are,” he said. “We’re absolutely in a key, strategic geographic location. There isn’t anywhere better in Alberta.”
The community is far from being without flaws, however, and being a man full of big ideas and big possibilities, he wants to see Lacombe turned into a place of “academy” for both sports and the arts.
To that end, he wants to see sports and arts groups in the community work in concert with each other to create a core of facilities around Cranna Lake serving both sports and the arts, including the future performing arts centre, MEGlobal Athletic Park and the reinstatement of a baseball stadium.
Involved with sports – from competing in slalom water skiing to being involved with Lacombe Minor Hockey and the the AJHL’s Olds Grizzlies as a head scout in the early 90’s, he envisions a future where a lack of ice time is remedied by creating three more artificial ice surfaces where the city maintenance shop land exists adjacent MEGlobal Athletic Park.
These amenities, along with improved parking to accommodate them, he believes, will attract commercial businesses to the area and ultimately alleviate residential tax burden in the future.
“Everybody says they want commercial development - I’ve said it myself. Here’s an idea as to what Lacombe can do to have people want to come here,” he said. “If it’s an attractive place to come, you’ll draw commercial development.”
When asked how to come up with the funds for these projects, he suggested finding sponsorships, akin to the naming rights sponsorship process taken on by the municipality for the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex.
His second focus is to minimize mistakes he feels have been made by previous councils. The Kinsmen Aquatic Centre, he says, is in the “absolute worst” spot, and he questions the relocation of the Lacombe Police Station.
“I don’t disagree with everything (council has) done. In fact I agree with mostly everything. Some of the mistakes they’ve made over the years, collectively.... has to stop. We’ve got to have positive, progressive planning,” he said.
“When you’re in power, I think what happens to some people is they don’t like an idea, not because it’s not a good idea, but because it’s not their idea.”
Douglas believes he can change that way of thinking.
“I’m passionate about Lacombe. I want to see Lacombe promoted to be the very best we can be. That’s what we all want, right?”
Douglas is also staunchly against the use of campaign signs, and notes he will rely on other means to get awareness of his candidacy out to the community.
“It goes against my principles – I disagree with them in any election,” he said. “I just find they clutter the whole area up.”
Last election, Douglas received 767 votes, sitting behind Chris Ross, who is also making a second bid for a council seat, and his 1,253 votes.
The official nomination day is Sept. 18. The election will be held on Monday, Oct. 16.