ATHABASCA — And Brian Hall makes three running in Division 4 for the Oct. 18 municipal election.
Hall came to the region in 2005 when he transferred to a local bank branch. It wasn't long before he fell in love with the area because he then chose to stay after he left banking for 15 years and started his own small business. He is running because he wants to continue the work of building the kind of community children can be proud of and want to remain in.
“I’m running to represent Division 4 because I believe that I have relevant work and life experience that will bring a useful perspective to Athabasca County council decision making and because I believe service to and in your community is important,” he said. “I live here, I work here, and I want my kids to be able to have the opportunity to continue to make their lives here should they want to when the time comes.”
With his experience in banking and being a business owner Hall believes he has many attributes that will serve him and the municipality well — he's flexible, collaborative, contemplative, and considerate.
“My experience farming and working in both small and large organizations provides the ability to relate to the challenges faced by employers in the region,” he said. “It’s important to be able to listen to other people’s perspectives, consider them and to be willing to adjust your own position where warranted, or defend your position when necessary.”
Economic stability and new investment is paramount for future success in the region and Hall has a few ideas on how to ensure both.
“I believe it is important to have a long range vision for our community, and to seek opportunities to maintain a healthy local economy, through incentives to attract new business, and to foster the conditions to keep existing business and residents in Athabasca County,” said Hall.
Infrastructure also has a direct impact on our ability to attract investment and new residents, he added.
“When the jobs leave so do the residents, followed by declining housing demand and prices, and reduced services,” he said. “We need to defend and keep jobs in our region. We need to maintain and improve the infrastructure that makes remote work possible.
“Rural economic development is strongly linked to healthy rural communities. We must have reliable infrastructure and community services, including broadband, healthcare, and roads and bridges, for example, so the municipality can provide a wider array of services to residents.”
When Hall came to the area he quickly immersed himself into the community, something he feels is important for everyone to do. He joined the Rotary Club, volunteered for local cultural and sporting events, and sat on the Riverfront Design Review Committee among others.
““I’m especially proud of the work with the ad-hoc group that brought a number of Syrians in need to Canada,” Hall said. “That was one of the most rewarding endeavours I’ve been a part of.”
Hall believes a councillor’s role is to make good decisions and consider the long term vibrancy of the region as well as being balanced with the current needs of residents while looking for more efficient ways to provide the services ratepayers want.
“We are fortunate to live in an area rich in resources, natural beauty, and culture: Athabasca County is a great place to live, work, and for recreation," he said. “We need to keep our focus on the long term health of the region and continue to lay the foundation for the next generation of prosperity in the region.”