Brandon Simmons wants to open clear lines of communication as he runs for Parkland County Councillor.
Brandon Simmons has worn many hats and held many titles but soon he hopes to don a new hat, as a Parkland County Councillor.
Simmons grew up in Southern Alberta but has chosen Parkland County as the place to raise his family. With a passion for rural living and community involvement he says he is very proud to call this place home.
Simmons has a storied background from wanting to be a cowboy, to pursuing a career in business where he has worked as a book keeper, public accountant and a finance administrator. He now runs a consulting business where he helps local businesses succeed.
In a one-on-one interview with One News, Simmons admits he kind of fell into politics, but hasn't looked back since. He states, "I learned that I loved being able to go and engage with people and be able to bring their concerns and ideas to the table when it comes to decision making and really advocate on their behalf".
Simmons also puts to rest any criticisms people may have regarding his young age, as he says age does not always equate to wisdom. Having gained a lot of experience in the business and finance industry, he hopes he can bring some of the knowledge he has gained to council.
When it comes to his platform Simmons believes communication is key, and it is one factor of his campaign he plans to continually address if elected. He explains communication is a two way street, "you can't just talk to residents, you can't just listen to them, you need to have that conversation with them so you can come to proper decisions".
Continuing with communication, Simmons says door knocking shouldn't just be limited to every time election season rolls around, and continuing communication is crucial to identifying and addressing issues in the community and the county. He notes in addition to getting out to all the different communities in his division, he also plans to host events throughout his term if elected where people in the community can come together to have informal conversations where they can address concerns.
Having been an active member in the community Simmons is no stranger to the issues face by the people in Parkland County. In regards to the coal phaseout, he believes the government is taking the right steps but still more needs to be done to support the families losing their job in the process. "Lots of people it is too late in their career, so we need to make sure they have viable options when they transition" Simmons says when speaking about financial aid provided to students as opposed to people who have been in the coal industry for a long time.
With regards to the ongoing battle between the Spruce Grove Gun Club and the surrounding community, Simmons sees an opportunity for more communication and compromise. He believes both sides have to be willing to give a little in order to come to a fair settlement. He states, " Council needs to be able to give, and the gun club needs to be able to give, and they need to be able to come up with some way to work things out, but that's only going to happen if they come up with some way to work together".
In closing, Simmons stresses the importance of communication again with the election nearing closer. He speaks to the importance of having a Councillor that will listen and care about the community issues over the entire term. Simmons adds, "They're going to care and be concerned enough to come and visit you and seek all the input from residents, so that they can bring that information to the table and make good decisions based off of what the people in Division 5 are looking for".
To hear the full unedited interview with Division 5 Parkland County Council Candidate Brandon Simmons, click the player below.