INNISFAIL – Roger Tewson believes his town has a bright future ahead but it needs new leadership to take it to the next level of excellence.
“It sure seems like they could use some new blood,” Tewson said, adding citizens have asked in the past if he was interested in public office. “Yes, I am interested now. As I look forward to my future I look forward to Innisfail’s future.
“I have served on EMS regulatory boards, and association boards, and wish to expand my service to serve the residents of Innisfail as a town council member,” added the 54-year-old long-time resident. “I look forward to future growth in Innisfail with excellent projects on the horizon.”
Tewson has been an Innisfailian since 2003, leaving the Town of Ponoka to live in Central Alberta and to continue his career as a paramedic, which began in 1994.
He is married to Corinna Bruin-Tewson and they have a large, blended family with five daughters, two sons and eight grandkids.
Tewson is not planning on leaving his paramedic career if he gets elected on Oct. 18.
In fact, his career is still important as he is continuing post-secondary education to secure a degree in business administration in emergency services management.
However, he’s also keenly interested in serving his community as a publicly elected member of town council. While he has been on paramedic boards before he has never been publicly elected for a municipal council seat.
Tewson is also aware that the new seven-member council could feature an entirely different look than it does today. There will be a new mayor, and a change of at least two councillors, maybe more.
“I think it’s exciting to have a whole new council but it would be challenging, especially if many of the councillors have never served on a public office before, or perhaps they never had any kind of experience serving on a board of any kind before or approving bylaws or policies,” he said.
If elected, he now sees the top priority as being a decision on fixing up the aging pool at the Innisfail Aquatic Centre. It’s an issue that is complicated for the town as they are still looking at four different options for the future of the town’s premier recreational facilities, including a staged plan for a full staged multiplex, which he supports.
“Whether we replace it (pool) in the next few years or not, it needs an upgrade or some things done to it so it is operational for the next few years,” he said, noting he’s heard that major renovations on the aging facility might not happen if the town ultimately decides to build a new pool altogether with a future multiplex project.
“The other thing I heard is that no matter what they decide with the multiplex that pool needs to have some repairs done to it.”
Nevertheless, there are other issues on Tewson’s mind, including trail improvements, notably the one around Napoleon Lake, which he said should be fully paved. He wants to see the vacant lots in Napoleon Meadows and Hazelwood Estates developed and sold.
Tewson is also keenly interested in seeing the southeast corner of Innisfail by Highway 54 and 42 Avenue developed, as he believes it would stimulate economic activity in that area of town.
Mostly, however, he just wants to serve the community he has called home for the past 18 years, even if he has to quickly navigate a challenging learning curve, a challenge he’s absolutely ready to meet.
“The learning opportunities of a brand-new council are phenomenal because you can put the past in the past and learn with brand new people as well,” he said.