Clayton Nelson

Ponoka resident Clayton Nelson takes his first step into municipal politics

The electoral candidate race heats up in the Town of Ponoka

Ponoka resident Clayton Nelson has thrown his hat into the ring to be a Town of Ponoka councillor.

This is Nelson’s first time running for municipal office but over the last two years he has felt a growing need to take part in what happens in town.

His motivation: transparency and accountability.

What first sparked his interest was the way the town brought the new recycling and waste management program to Ponoka. That process was not clear and caused confusion, explained Nelson.

He felt it was administration of the day forcing in a new program with little planning. “It should be council votes the concerns of the ratepayers.”

With the needs of the community such as the new learning centre, a new field house and a new RCMP detachment, Nelson wants to get involved and also wants to avoid high tax increases.

“I want to at least be part of that decision-making process,” said Nelson.

He suggests that before taxes get raised efficiencies need to be considered.

Nelson’s current work with the Alberta Recycling Management Authority (ARMA) is something he feels has helped him understand how municipalities work but also in building bridges with them. “The majority of my work is building relationships with municipalities.”

The job also involves working with recycle customers such as residents, recycle processors and collectors. For Nelson it’s all about giving people a chance to have their say but to also have a vision of the full picture.

His goal if elected: “I want to be helping.”

Being a town councillor can be time consuming so Nelson spoke with his manager about the idea before entering his name. His manager is a town councillor in their community and they support the idea. Indeed, Nelson says the company is willing to adjust his schedule to make it work.

Nelson owns one rental property in town and manages an apartment complex in Ponoka. He has been advancing his business finance education and manages a budget as approved by ARMA’s board of directors.

He has an understanding of governance that the ARMA board of directors follows as well as the need to follow budgets to get his work done.

If elected, Nelson added he would like to see a resolution with the town fire department. He suggests it does not make sense to have two fire halls in Ponoka.

The Town of Ponoka is hosting a pre-election candidate session Sept. 7 at the Kinsmen Community Centre from 7 to 9 p.m. All residents considering running are invited to attend.

Nomination day is Sept. 18 and the general election will happen on Oct. 16.

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