After four terms as a trustee for the Rocky Mountain School District, current board chair Greg Anderson is setting his sights on a seat at the District of Invermere council table.
“It was an excellent experience,” the 12 year board veteran says of his time with SD6.
“But my kids were in school at that time, and after the kids left school I found it harder to be engaged with the school system. I’m very much a community volunteer and it’s an opportunity for me to give back to the community. If I’m not going to do it as a trustee, I’d like to try to do it as a councillor.”
A manager with the B.C. and Alberta forest services for 35 years, Anderson moved to Invermere in the early ’90s.
Since then, he’s served as president of the Old Timers’ Hockey Association and Windermere Minor Baseball, co-chaired the Mount Nelson Athletic Park development committee and served on the public advisory committee for the district’s Imagine Invermere community sustainability plan earlier this year.
Anderson says he sees the job of a district councillor as “balancing economic development — which is going to occur and which we need — with sustainability and quality of life… We want to make sure we make wise choices.”
That includes preserving a diverse mix of arts and recreation opportunities, as well as diverse neighbourhoods, he says. He also sees the district’s expansion and development as an issue that will come into play during the next council term.
“I think (the district should be) ensuring that when we have developments start in the town there are enough conditions put in place, so that with the economic downturn if they have to put down tools they’re left in a state that’s aesthetically pleasing for people,” he says.
He’d also like to get council talking about affordable housing within Invermere’s borders, “for first time homeowners, but also for seniors.”
With a government background and experience on a board that carries its own steep learning curve, Anderson thinks he’d come to municipal council with an advantage over other newbies.
“I understand governance, and I understand policy development and process,” he says.
“My expectations coming in I think are pretty realistic, and I think I can be a benefit to town council with that kind of background.”