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Potential councillor hopes youth and tech-savvy will appeal to voters

Michael Borody is one of nine running for six council seats in the Town of Athabasca
Mike Borody web
Michael Borody is one of nine men and women running for Athabasca town council seats in the Oct. 18 municipal election. 

ATHABASCA – Long-time area resident Michael Borody hopes voters give him a chance to show what someone of his age and expertise can offer around the Town of Athabasca council table. 

The 37-year-old council hopeful grew up on a farm south of Athabasca, in the Perryvale area, and though he left the area for a few years for the draw of British Columbia and Edmonton, he eventually found his way back to his hometown. 

“I love our community. Any person in my age group thinks about moving away once in a while, but in the end, my mom is here; my sister is here; my other sister is in the vicinity; my uncles; my aunties; relatives,” he said in an interview Sept. 30. “This is home.” 

Borody has taken on several occupations since he has been back in Athabasca — some may know him as a taxi driver, an Internet installer, a pizza delivery man, or now as a pedicurist at the Vault Body Studio, where he is learning the finer points of foot health after recently receiving his certification. 

Politics is something that has been on his mind for a while, and now as he is coming up on 40, he said now was a good time to put his name in for one of Athabasca’s six council seats. 

“I don't consider myself young, yet I don't consider myself old, I'm at that point where I really want to hear everything that everyone has to say, I want to really absorb people's thoughts. I think that's an important thing in council to be able to have that for sure, that ability to hear from everybody and communicate,” Borody said. 

“I don't think that one person being retired is going to be any different than a person not retired because we all have 24 hours in a day.” 

Growing up on the cusp of the digital age, Borody is quite familiar with the virtual realm and feels he could fill a unique role on council, being as comfortable as he is there. That’s why working toward a functioning and fast broadband network throughout the town, and the surrounding county, is so important to sparking the economic development every municipality seeks. 

Athabasca University too, is on his list of priorities. 

“It is vital to our community not to lose one of its largest employers — that directly affects all of us — every single business has customers that work at AU and without those customers, there's that many fewer businesses, and with less businesses there's less services and less for the community. It's important that we keep the university in Athabasca 100 per cent,” he said. 

Dealing with the crime and drug problem in Athabasca is another one of the reasons he wants to represent the community. Borody would like to see justice reforms, and he’s aware that’s a tall order for a small-town council but having been a victim of a car theft himself and knowing the number of businesses in the community that are repeatedly affected by crime, he says it’s a worthy project to pursue with local law enforcement, however that may come about. 

“I am pro-business. I want to see businesses come in as they want to come in, I want to see developments be approved, so that we can have the tax revenue from those developments,” he said.

About the Author: Chris Zwick

Athabasca Advocate editor
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