Patrick Wilson said he has more work to do from town council, especially on traffic and growth management, as well as supporting local businesses in a meaningful way.
Wilson has lived in Cochrane his entire life and has served one term town councillor.
“I grew up in Cochrane," he said. "I’ve lived here my whole life. I went to school and graduated here. I run a couple small businesses, a taxi company in Cochrane and a mountain shuttle company as well. I’m tied deeply to this community for sure.”
Wilson said he took some time to sit back and think about his intentions for a second term on council.
“I came to some things I’m pretty proud of and reinforced that I’m useful for another term on town council," he said. "My big three, which are on signs everywhere, are to manage growth, fix traffic and support local business.”
Wilson said concerns over traffic and infrastructure management inspired him to run in 2017 after he had seen hardly any town upgrades to keep up with demand for decades.
“It took a while to get some traction, but we were able to achieve some of the traffic projects that you see going already in the last term," he said. "The Highway 1A/22 interchange is a gigantic win for our community that will begin next spring. That took a lot of work to get that done. There was a lot of advocacy and work with our province and our MLA to get that going because we don’t have the funds to upgrade an intersection like that.”
Wilson said if he is elected, next term he would like to see extra lanes added to the railway crossing from Railway Avenue to 1 Street to improve traffic flow.
He said he would also like to upgrade Cochrane’s traffic lights to incorporate cost-effective smart traffic technology, where lights are safer and adjust to the traffic backups and flows throughout the day.
On the issue of growth management, Wilson said there are some things that council needs to address.
“I’m not anti-growth by any means, I just have this very simple notion that new growth Cochrane should be a net benefit for current residents,” he said
The way Cochrane is currently growing, Wilson said, is a net decline for residents.
“I think we’re in real trouble in this town if we continue to grow where we’re fiscally insolvent," he said. "Essentially every time we build a development, we’re bringing on things that have more liabilities in a 30-year time horizon than they have assets. Growth is not benefiting current residents and we need to change that.”
In support of local business, Wilson aims to focus on creating more autonomy to foster economic development and, according to his website, he will advocate the provincial government against any further lockdowns that are destructive to local business.
Wilson said he feels particularly strong in his understanding of policy and said overall what needs work on council is on social media management and communication.
“I leaned on some of my fellow councillors for many things in that department,” he said. “But I do have a strong idea of where our community needs to improve, where we’re failing and how we get to where we need to be.”
Cochranites can vote for up to six councillors in the upcoming municipal election on Oct. 18. For more information about election day and voting visit cochrane.ca/election.