Simon Boersma is running for mayor of Morinville.

As a businessman and longtime community member, Simon Boersma believes he is the right fit for the mayor's office.

Boersma was born in the Netherlands and came to Canada at a young age, graduating from high school in Lethbridge before spending time in the construction business. He moved to the capital region in 1987 and then shortly after, spent a couple of years living on Vancouver Island before deciding to call Morinville home in 2007.
 
He came after helping move Pleasant Homes, the business which he now part-owns, into the area.

"Instead of driving from the south side in Edmonton after moving back, I basically decided, 'you know what? Why don't I get a house in Morinville and live right here?' So, I've been here since the business moved."

Boersma is an active member of the community, serving as president of the Morinville Chamber of Commerce for five years. He also works with the Rotary Club of Morinville, where he's had the opportunity to work overseas in Romania, El Salvador, Nicaragua and South Africa.
 
An inability to travel during the pandemic meant he had extra time to reflect on issues closer to home.

"With COVID, we haven't seen much more than what Alberta has, but it certainly made me look at the different aspects of our own communities here, so I decided to run," he explained.

Boersma sees community growth, taxes and communication as his main priorities. He believes transparency and communication from the town are areas that he would improve on, adding that bringing new businesses to town would help with the tight tax base. 

"Currently, the clientele is mostly residential. We don't have a massive business tax base. As I'm sure most people are aware, you cannot run a full-fledged community with all of its costs based only on a residential basis."
 
He explained he doesn't want to see Morinville 'lag behind' other municipalities, such as Fort Saskatchewan, which have seen growth in population.

Boersma sees his ties to the community as one of his biggest strengths, adding that more communication from the town, especially surrounding taxes, would help build the community. He said that his work with the Chamber and the Rotary Club always has been team-oriented.

"I think with the chamber, we built a strong team in order to enhance what it is that we have in our community for those five years," he said. "We need to make sure that there is integrity within those teams, that it's not just about one person, it's about a community. We want to make sure that legacy is left, and the teamwork continues on. It's not about a CAO or a mayor."

Morinville's municipal election is on October 18.