There is a great deal of experience ready to take over at the next councillor in Rocky View County’s Ward 4.
Al Schule, who spent nine years in the position from the late 1990s to the middle of last decade, has thrown his hat in the ring for another term.
As of the weekend of Sept. 16, no one was opposing Schule for the job to replace the outgoing Rolly Ashdown, who won’t run because he’s focused on opening a lounge instead.
A Langdon businessman, Curtis Denies, registered for the race but quickly dropped out because of time restrictions and the fact he wouldn’t be leaving his day job for the position.
Schule has plenty of things he would like to do if he gets the job back, and because he knows the ins and outs of the what it takes to be a councillor, he plans on hitting the ground running.
“I’m hoping with my experience and knowledge I can really go in there and make changes quickly,” said Schule. “The biggest problem I found the first time, there is such a big learning curve about what you think your job is and what your actual job becomes is quite different. I’m hoping my experience can really be helpful.”
Schule, 67, is now semi-retired after running Langdon Automotive for 27 years before selling it to one of his employees a couple of years ago. He’s not ready for full retirement, he says, and he’s anxious to dive in and tackle what he sees is the biggest problem: Cooperation on council.
“The reason I’m running is I have concerns with how council has been operating,” Schule said. “Nothing against Rolly. I think he’s tried really hard. Somehow we have to get the council united. It’s difficult for anything to happen in the county if you don’t have a united council and don’t give staff a direction and they are going 20 different ways.
“I would also like to see some of the things I started years ago that seemed to have got held up.”
One of the big issues in the hamlet is there are a lack of recreation facilities, particularly for youth and especially during the summer months when school is out. Schule understands this and would like to tackle it, but he knows it will take time.
“We need capital. We need funding. Where does it come from?” Schule said. “You can only get so much from taxpayers. Some people don’t like development but in order to grow and get these facilities, we do need to look at good development. We need to look at sustainable development. We don’t want to put a burden on taxpayers. Will it be sustainable? Will it be functional? We really need to look at that.”
The other big issue lately in Langdon was crime and the outcry for more of a police presence. Schule would like to see some progress made in that area too and he has an idea of how to help.
“At one time, we were going to put a little office for the RCMP or the county bylaw officers so that when they are doing their paperwork and computer work, they could sit in the Langdon office and it would be more of a presence more often instead of heading back to Rocky View. They really liked that idea. It would be great to have a district office.”
Schule hopes to follow up on what he says was great dedication from Ashdown over the past seven years, but he will likely only be interested in going one term.