A longtime community member has thrown his hat into the election ring for City council.
Ben Ordman, who also ran in the 2004 election, has announced his candidacy.
“I’m running for council because there are things that I can impact positively that I think are essential. I’ve had some very valuable experiences in my career and life that would benefit a wide range of people in Red Deer from youth to seniors,” he said. “I believe the quality of life of the citizens of Red Deer is improved when you look at solutions that engage all sectors of the community.”
He added there are a number of issues he would like to tackle.
“In terms of development, I think we have to look at building inward and upward. We have to look at directing more private investment to the downtown area and we need to look at more residential development in older areas like Riverside Meadows that could be gentrified in so many wonderful ways,” said Ordman, who is also seeking a seat on the Red Deer Public School Board. “I’m in support of the Riverlands project. I think we also need to look at ways at engaging the northern part of the City – in particular the northwest. That part of the City has its own territorial variance – it’s unique. It’s near industrial activity, a railway line and there are issues of noise and even potentially safety.”
Crime and safety are other issues Ordman would like to address if elected to council.
“I think we have a much safer City than the Macleans article identifying us as one of the most dangerous cities in Canada,” he said. “I studied criminology in university and what I learned was statistics can be misconstrued and misused. We have very good reporting and response to crime and we have been well served by the RCMP. I am sometimes skeptical of ‘drive-by journalism’ – reporters from another region creating a framework of opinion around just table-top statistics without visiting a community.”
As for a ward system, Ordman said he thinks one should be considered.
“It needs to be done in a way that at-large duties are considered in the process. When you define a ward system to make sure that you are not narrowing the concept to a point that is too constrictive of the role of a councillor.”
He added council should look at how progressive the City is going to be.
“We need to look at what kind of community we are. Are we overly conservative or are we progressive and modern? That will be important in the message we send to provincial and federal governments when we are looking at attracting high profile events both in business and in sports,” said Ordman. “I think we have to look at how we can create an impression of ourselves.”
If elected, Ordman, who has had career experience in education, real estate and construction supervision, said he will bring many attributes to the table. He has served on volunteer committees including as president of Neighbourhood Watch, on the policing and taxi committees and the Red Deer College athletic enhancement.
“I would be able to contribute to a very good oversight and be prepared to ask questions of stakeholders and service providers that would benefit council as whole. I have developed a collaborative approach and a very good understanding of people that would be beneficial.”