Jazz Matthews hopes to bring a unique perspective to the Stony Plain Town Council.
As the Town of Stony Plain municipal election nears closer another name is in the mix, but who he is might surprise you.
Jazz Matthews has lived in Stony Plain for almost a decade and as a member of the community he has heard first hand from residents about ongoing issues in the town.
Matthews says he’s “not your typical politician” going on to say he wants to be a voice for community and address their issues. Since announcing his nomination he’s created a Facebook page for his campaign where he has an ongoing poll for people to vote on the issues they think are most important.
In a one-on-one interview with One News Matthews admits he was unsure about actually running in the upcoming election but one key factor motivated him to run. He goes on to say “I’m very tired of the electorates apathy and complacency” he adds “we get 30% generally turnout at elections”. He goes on to say he wants to inform people and make them aware of how easy it to actually get out and vote and he hopes to see a larger turnout this year.
Being an arts and culture person, Matthews would like to bring that aspect of his life into Stony Plain more. He goes on to say he would like to see a service that brings arts people together in the town. "Something where people in various different art forms can get together and meet as a group" is the vision Matthews describes that he would like to see if elected.
Matthews would also like to bring focus back to the downtown area as he would like to work with the businesses in the area to keep the downtown nice and up to date. Matthews notes "Maybe there's some incentives we can do with the owners of the buildings to kind of clean up our downtown, and clean up is the right word it's beautiful, but it's time to bring people back to our downtown before we lose it". Matthews goes on to say that he would like to see more business in Stony Plain but first people must support the businesses we already have in the town.
From communicating with the community, Matthews has noticed some predominant issues come out of his campaign so far.
Neighbourhood safety is a primary concern for Matthews as he has noticed not only in his neighbourhood but others as well that the speed limits are high in residential areas. To remedy this, Matthews would like to see children at play signs, and lower speed limit.
He also brought attention to the issue of street racing and loud cars late at night in residential areas. He says he's heard from numerous residents about this and it is time to act upon the problem. "A presence in the neighbourhoods that have issues over by Golf Course has been an issue for a long time" Matthews says, "and it's always 'you have to call us when it's happening' and the response times with as busy as they are, aren't enough to get there and check it out."
Another aspect Matthews touched on was the possibility of public transit in Stony Plain. He noted Spruce Grove worked with the City of Edmonton to bring public transportation to bring commuters to the big city. He added for students it is very expensive for a young adult to pay for a car, insurance and gas so a transit system to bring Stony Plain residents to Edmonton would be extremely helpful. He goes on to say "I would like to work with the City of Spruce Grove and see what we can do to do something similar to what they did with the City of Edmonton."
In his final statements Matthews once again urged community members to head to the polls comes election day. He adds "Get out and talk to your Councillors let them know what your issues are, let me know what your issues are" Matthews would end by saying "and then get out and vote, make difference."
To hear the full unedited interview with Stony Plain Town Council candidate Jazz Matthews, click the player below.