After living in Niverville for only 18 months, a former-Alberta resident says he likes the town so much, that he’s ready to add his name to the ballot for Town Council in the fall municipal elections.
Jason Alderson calls himself a family man, husband and full-time father who is homeschooling their young children. Alderson says he is able to do this as a result of his early retirement from his job as a restaurant owner/operator, as well as venturing into the vending machine industry for a number of years. And now, at the age of 42, he's a business coach and mentor.
The Alderson family moved to Niverville because of an invitation from a family member to help them with a business expansion to Winnipeg. The reason they chose Niverville is that it is very similar in size to their previous home in Alberta and close to his wife's work.
“We like the fact that it's a community that has a lot to offer its residents and that it's growing. You know, one day it's probably going to grow into a city. But right now, it still has that small town feel and I'd hope we can keep it that way, but you know, I also want to see things growing.”
Alderson believes that though some people are opposed to growth, he’d much rather be in a growing community than a dying one. “So yeah, there is just a lot here (in Niverville). It was we're very comfortable coming to a community like this.”
When asked what kind of experience he would be bringing to Niverville Town Council, Alderson notes that “I don't think that people necessarily need experience in order to run for town council. I hope more people continue to step forward while there's still time to do so.”
That said, Alderson served two separate terms on the Rocky Mountain House town council, including Deputy Mayor. He also served on the Regional Emergency Management board, the Family and Community Support Services board, the Municipal Planning Commission, Economic Development & Strategy Committee, and the COVID-19 Recovery Task Force among others, including library, senior housing, and physician recruitment committees.
Alderson says, “I do have lots of experience. But I didn't have that experience prior to me on Council. I would still try to give back to the community and volunteer and things like that.”
As to why he has put his name on the ballot, he says, “Why not? You know, this is where I live. This is where my family lives. This is where my friends live. This is where my neighbours live and I have a passion for it. It's one of the best things that I've ever done, and that’s to serve the community and I just love serving others. If you want to be a change in the world, I think that that's great, but I think that it needs to start in your home, in your community. So, I think those are the two places that we should start.”
“So, if people want change or they want choice then that's me. I'd like to give back to this community. I'd like to show my children what serving looks like. I'd like to show them that if you're passionate about something you should go after it and that you should always try to make a difference. Try to be a difference in whatever you do. I think that it's the same thing when it comes to change, like, there's no reason that you can't try to make a change that you believe in and that you can be change in whatever room that you enter, and so that's the reason I'm running.”
Alderson says he is not looking to turn the community upside down. Rather, “I just want to be a part of shaping the community. I do want to help build up trust and transparency again. I don't think that's necessarily for this town, in particular, this happened way before COVID, but COVID hasn't helped matters. Whether there's just a lack of trust and transparency between citizens and any level of government or whether it's even because it's deserved or it's just optics because people don't understand what's going on, I think that needs to change.”
His solution? “Part of the change that can come is through live streaming. I just know there's churches even here in Niverville that do live streaming. I think that in today's day and age, live streaming is something that should also be done by town council.”
Alderson acknowledges that no matter who is elected to town council, each member needs to make sure the residents of Niverville come first. “You can't win them all over. They're not all going to love you, but you're going to fight hard for every citizen because that's your job. That's your duty as an elected official. And I should say it's about being more than an elected official. There's enough elected officials, but there's not enough public servants anymore, and I think we need to bring that back.”
Another part of Alderson’s election platform would be fiscal responsibility for town council.