Lifelong resident Dave Oldham running for an Alderman seat.
To listen, to learn and to lead.
This is the campaign slogan of Spruce Grove's Dave Oldham, who's running for an Alderman seat on Spruce Grove City Council in this fall's election.
A 40 year old father of two girls with a 17-year career as an educator in the Parkland School Division- primarily at Spruce Grove Composite High- Oldham feels he represents the largest demographic of the growing city while also understanding the issues facing others.
"I'm a family guy, I use the facilities that families use. The Tri Leisure Centre, the library, we take our kids to the Horizon Stage; so I'm involved in the community in a number of different ways" says Oldham in one-on-one sit down with One News. "But I also have parents who are senior citizens in this community and see things through their lens."
Oldham's parents brought him to Spruce Grove when he was not even a year old, in 1977, and he's lived in the city ever since. Aside from a brief one year stint as the Men's Basketball Coach at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Oldham has spent his entire teaching career at Spruce Grove Composite High teaching many subjects, most notably physical education and working with special needs children.
When it comes to the issues facing Spruce Grove, particularly growth and the proposed $79 million dollar multi-use sport and event centre, Oldham says he'd like to see any new facilities be diverse for the community.
"I think we need to be mindful of how we look to expand and look at creative ways to do that," explains Oldham. "Could we incorporate a cultural centre or something for the arts into the recreational centre as well because they need indoor space. I think that's a factor of our community we need to look at as well."
While door knocking in the city, Oldham says he's hearing residents say they are also concerned about taxation with regards to the proposed facility.
"We need to have meaningful public engagement with this decision. It's the biggest capital project in the history of our city," continues Oldham. "The community doesn't have the numbers right now to make an informed and responsible decision and I feel the same way as a potential Alderman in the upcoming election. We just need more information."
When it comes to the emerging issue of transparency among the city's council to residents, such as easier access to how council members vote and what their recorded expenses are, Oldham believes there's no substitute for honesty and wants to help bring this change.
"Transparency builds trust. If we're open with information, if we're open with the decisions as much as is appropriate, moving forward the community then learns to trust. Building that trust, I think, is the underlyng foundation that we want to work on," says Oldham.
Another bone of contention in the community of Spruce Grove is automated traffic enforcement, affectionately known as ATE or hatefully known as a 'cash cow' to residents.
"Finding the balance in this is going to be really key," says Oldham on ATE. "The initiative of ATE was put in place for a specific reason and I think the city's deviated from that reason, to be honest."
To hear the full, unedited interview with Spruce Grove Alderman candidate Dave Oldham, click here or on play on the file below: