Paul Harris hopes to spark change as councillor

  • Oct. 2, 2013 3:47 p.m.

Paul Harris is hoping to continue his stay as a City councillor.

He is an experienced businessman with more than 20 years of expertise and has started and grown several businesses including some in retail, food service, and property development.

Harris and his partner bought the old Capitol Theatre on Ross St. and opened Sunworks in 1998 and have actively worked for the past 15 years to revitalize the street and the downtown core.

“I have served as a board member and president of the Cultural Development Association of Red Deer, a board member and president of the Red Deer and District Community Foundation and as a board member an president of the Red Deer Downtown Business Association,” said Harris.

In 2003, under Harris’ leadership, the Cultural Development Association helped the City of Red Deer achieve the designation of Cultural Capital of Canada.

“I strongly believe that the act of running for council should affect community change. The goal should be to create positive change as a part of the campaign itself,” said Harris.

He added that if any candidate’s goal is solely to get elected, then it’s the wrong goal and not the best choice for the community.

“At the end of the campaign if I’ve helped elevate conversations about what our community desires, what it means to be a truly engaged citizen and what we are proud of in Red Deer, then I’ve done my job.”

Harris said that the conversations held as a community leading up to the election will create the future that Red Deerians have to live in. He said he first ran for office because he was encouraged to by many citizens of Red Deer, but that he had other motivators including the strive for change.

“I want to live in a city that has an abundance of things to offer its citizens and yet is connected to the world. Red Deer is on the right track.”

He said he would love nothing more than for Red Deer to be recognized for its greatness.

“I imagine us becoming far more conservative in our approach to roads and transportation, and finding much better ways to balance the various ways people move around in our City.”

He said he believes that if this is a success urban sprawl can be slowed, quality of life will be increased and poverty reduced. “These things are all very much connected, as communities become more walkable with various amenities nearby, the whole City benefits.”

He said what he enjoys about being on council is being able to invite the kind of change that the community is looking for.

“I enjoy being able to learn from other municipalities and to bring the effective practice and good thinking back to Red Deer for consideration. I love listening to the fantastic ideas and passions of Red Deer’s citizens and helping them find a way into City planning.”

kpalardy@reddeerexpress.com

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