Town council candidate Brandon Cruze is tired of people running for town council on ideas without actual plans.
If elected, he wants to change that.
Born and raised in Cochrane, he left briefly before returning home with his wife and two children.
"I love Cochrane, and I decided it was time to come back," says Cruze. "It's time to get things done here, but we need to have plans. We can't just continue to run on ideas and not have a plan on how we actually are going to start getting some of these things done."
"Ideas are great, but if you don't have a plan, it's just an idea."
He wants to start saving people money on utility costs, fight for a 24-hour urgent care centre, address the ongoing crime issue, slow growth, provide more affordable housing, and create a Cochrane Voter Initiative Act.
He believes more money can stay in residents' pockets by mothballing outdated ideas and striking out to take control.
"Now more than ever, we need new ways to save more money for ourselves, and at the same time, we need to look at real-world strategies to balance the town finances, which in the end, would be a reduction in property taxes. Adding more people doesn't reduce taxes, it just raises them."
He believes Cochranites are being wrongfully on the hook to pay the municipal franchise fees of utility companies. Currently, the town collects franchise fees for both power and gas. The companies, in turn, charge them back to residents on their monthly bills.
"We're paying their municipal franchise fees, and, really, the town is the franchiser. We set the fees, we set the rates, and they shouldn't be putting those fees back on to us."
"If they want to do business here, they should pay their own fees."
He is calling for the creation of a Cochrane Voter Initiative Act to give residents a say on capital expenditures of over $1 million. He says the current methods of providing input are too cumbersome and unrealistic
Basically, a voter-based website would be created to give residents a direct say on major capital projects.
He's concerned with the amount of crime in the community. Again, he says councillors have run on this notion in the past, but nothing has changed.
Enhancing the resources of Citizens on Patrol is just one of the measures he believes will address the issue.
While not painting all homeless youth with the same brush, he believes providing them additional support could also potentially reduce crime while improving their lives.
"There are youth that really do struggle, and we just do not have the resources in place to help these kids, and I think it's important we start giving them those resources to keep them off the street and stop them rummaging through people's backyards or cars, you know, really give them another way to be a better part of the community, and fostering their health, and move them ahead."
He believes Cochrane could learn from Airdrie's example of how to get 24-hour urgent care.
"We do obviously have other councillors who ran on the exact same platform, but what I'm curious to know is who actually put pen to paper?"
He believes council needs to show leadership by starting a community petition and delivering it directly to the Alberta Health minister.
"Airdrie did this exact same thing. They drafted the petition, they got their signatures, they went and made their voice heard, and they got it. Whereas in Cochrane, everybody puts their hand up and says, 'I want it, I want it,' but that's where it stops."
He said he would gladly take the drive to Edmonton to present the petition to the Health minister.
Cruze is concerned with the population projections of 60,000. He also takes issue with the plan being laid out by the Calgary Metropolitan Region Board.
He believes we need to rethink that entire scenario.
"The reality is when all of that happens, we're going to be back to square one again. The schools will be packed, the traffic's insane, and we need to actually start scaling back a bit, and living within our means, versus going outside of it without any ideas going forward."
Cruze launched his campaign early to give people time to exam his plan. He says the pandemic has made campaigning more of a challenge and going door-to-door is out of the question right now.
Instead, he has a heavy social media presence and says people are taking note.
"There's a lot of support that is coming in. Actually, now I'm at the point where I'm getting over 50 emails a day with people addressing their concerns and telling me what they'd like to see for Cochrane. I really champion them to keep doing that. It's been really good so far."