Ken Linsley is hoping to turn his voice from business to city politics by announcing his candidacy for Swift Current City Council.
Linsley is taking leave of absence from his duties as Chairman of the Board of the Swift Current and District Chamber of Commerce to run in the election. He feels he can bring an effective voice to council after a 25 year career in the agricultural retail sector and a recent move into a training and development role.
“The biggest reason is that I’m tired of hearing political answers. I just want honesty and transparency for people when they ask a question that we just answer it,” Linsley said when announcing his candidacy.
“For all the things that are going on in the city, I think we’ve got lots of good momentum going, but there are some items that are of special interest to me.”
“Some of the top ones for me are the large inventory of residential lots that are currently sitting empty, specifically around the hospital and the new subdivision. The old school sites and what we’re going to do around developing those. I think that’s logically going to be housing, but what that looks like I guess I’m interested to be a part of. Also the commercial lot development that we developed that we haven’t actually sold a lot in yet. So where are we at with that? Another big one is wait times and access to healthcare in Swift Current. I have personal experience with long wait times, and trying to get a doctor here right now is quite challenging. As we look to grow Swift, we need to look at making sure those things grow with us.”
He also feels the City needs a stronger and more visible growth agenda.
“We hear lots of talk about Grow Swift, but I think we need to have more than the words. We need that plan, so what is it? How do we fill all these residential lots? We’ve record house sales right now, but that’s not record house builds. That’s people moving from house to house not building new, so we have a lot of inventory sitting on the books and that’s taxpayers dollars sitting there. I would like to be part of a plan and see it through.”
He said his experience with the Chamber has given him a new perspective of the impact of city operations on the business community.
“I look at the City as a big business that we need to run ultimately. And we need to do that efficiently.”
“Being part of the Chamber of Commerce for the last few years also has opened my eyes to a lot of local businesses and a strategy around supporting local as well.”
He will also be taking aim at city taxes during his discussion of the issues this campaign.
“We’ve got to take that list and make it ‘wants and needs’ especially when we’re spending the taxpayers dollars. We have to be responsible and do an economical job of spending the taxpayers dollars.”
“At the end of the day there’s only one source of revenue and that’s the taxpayer. We’re paying more taxes today overall between municipal, provincial and federal than we ever have. We’ve got to be wise with those dollars because it’s tough to live for some people these days.”
“I really think we need to have a ‘wants and needs’ approach to a lot of these spending things. It’s great to have some stuff but do you need it at the end of the day.”
“The big thing for me is the transparency piece and the not being afraid to answer the questions,” he said. “I hear a lot of talk about taxation and debt, so I think those are honest conversations we need to have with people and we need to listen to them.”