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Hoover seeking seat on Blackfalds council

 Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe

Jamie Hoover will be one of the newcomers looking to grab a seat on Blackfalds town  council in the upcoming municipal election. (Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe)

Jamie Hoover will be one of the newcomers looking to grab a seat on Blackfalds town council in the upcoming municipal election. (Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe)

RED DEER - 

Jamie Hoover wants to help the Town of Blackfalds shape its identity.

Seeking election to Blackfalds town council in the Oct. 16 municipal election, he says it’s something the community is missing, lost, perhaps, in the overwhelming growth over the past few years.

“What is Blackfalds? I think it’s a great little town with a huge growth rate and a significant number of new people,” he said. “But what does that look like? I’d like to see Blackfalds through discovering its identity and coming into its own.”

Part of that will come from better representation of the community on council, something he believes he can address.

A father, former EMT, small business owner, and a veteran of 20 years - including 15 in the navy and another five years with the Canadian Armed Forces - he’s a newer resident to Blackfalds, first moving to the town at the end of 2012.

However, he sees that as being an asset, with much of the community made up of newcomers.

“I don’t think I’m in the minority here,” he said. “I think I can represent that new perspective. I’m not looking back at the last 20 years - I’m looking at what Blackfalds has the potential to be.”

Originally, he thought about running in the last election, however, felt he didn’t quite have the experience needed to run for office.

That didn’t stop him from getting involved with the community, however, and he applied to sit on a number of boards and committees, and ended up on the town’s Economic Development Board, where he has sat for the last four years.

“It really connected me with what’s going on in Blackfalds. More so, I learned how interconnected all the Central Alberta communities were. It really interested me,” he said. “I now understand how the relationships and committees work - which is essentially what council is - so it’s not a huge learning curve for me to be able to make valuable decisions.”

While he’s not looking to reinvent the wheel and change the direction Blackfalds is heading in, he says the growth of the community means there are a number of issues that need to be addressed.

One such issue is the need for a high school within the community.

“We did some great things in Blackfalds in the last few years that might not have happened if the focus was on a high school and the town doesn’t always have all the decision making power, but there’s always opportunity with changing over of governments to rehash and speed that process up.”

A high school, he believes, would be essential in aiding Blackfalds developing its identity, giving the municipality sports teams to rally behind.

As well, he wants to see Blackfalds work on emergency preparedness and ensure plans are updated to the scale Blackfalds now represents should a disaster happen.

“Students probably know more about the dangers and hazards in Lacombe around the high school than they do in Blackfalds. We need to know what we have, improve public awareness,” he said.

Sitting on the Economic Development Board, commercial growth, too, is a priority.

“Being a business owner and having that experience, I can relate to the next phase of Blackfalds which will be enormous commercial growth,” he said.

Tied into that is marketing Blackfalds, utilizing the advantage it has along the QE2 corridor, and revitalizing the downtown.

Nomination Day is set for Sept. 18. A candidate forum is scheduled for Sept. 25.

-abarrett@postmedia.com 



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