Mayor Brooker to seek re-election
Thursday, Aug 31, 2017 06:00 am
Mayor Ivan Brooker believes he has represented Cochrane well which is why he is seeking re-election for a second term as chief representative of the town and is enthusiastic about continued public service in a community he has helped to foster growth and diversify.
“I’m pretty proud of this council – it’s the most respectful council I’ve worked with,” said Brooker, adding that he feels he has put his best foot forward to serve Cochrane through relationship-building and managing growth.
“What I bring to the table is the relationships I’ve built,” he said, adding that he has worked hard to get on a first-name basis with Transportation Minister Brian Mason – who recently accepted Brooker’s request for a meeting to discuss twinning Highway 1A down Cochrane hill and west of the 1A/22 intersection.
Brooker said he will do his best to advocate that the province package this in with the long-awaited intersection upgrades, but is grateful to draw the attention of this ministry to the problem as a first step.
While five years ago was not time for transit, Brooker said the tremendous growth in the outlying communities and the added traffic congestion has all signs pointing to now as the time for buses.
“When we reapplied for GreenTRIP funding we asked for the moon – and we got it,” said Brooker, explaining that the funding is in place for capital start-up costs beyond buses, including land purchase of the Esso Bulk Station and the buildout of a bus depot on that site.
“Every piece of the puzzle for connectivity is there … now I just want to see that through,” he said, adding that the bridge opening estimated by late 2019 and the ultimate connection with James Walker Trail will also alleviate much of the traffic burden felt today.
He is also geared up for the pending annexation of lands north of Heritage Hills from Rocky View County, where he has been working with Rocky View Schools on a future high school site.
The remaining lands on the site are what Brooker sees as “huge recreational opportunities” – including ball diamonds, another campground and possibly a new home for the Cochrane Lions Rodeo (whose 50-year lease with the town of its current Glenbow site is up for re-negotiation in 2019).
Brooker remains passionate about seniors and is anxious for the new Big Hill Lodge site to be selected and for build-out to start. He would like to investigate future options to keep seniors aging in place – noting the former pool and curling club sites as possibilities.
While he understands residential growth has been unprecedented over the last term, he is convinced the catch-up in the commercial/industrial sectors will balance this out and said that he hopes residents can understand that land uses needed to be given to future developments in this term to secure the town’s much-needed roads.
He was also involved with helping the new Garmin building get off the ground, as he sees keeping Cochrane the home base for the tech giant and major employer instrumental to attracting other industry players.
Brooker served as a town councillor from 2001-2004 and from 2010-2013. This was his first term as mayor.
Over the years, Brooker has had many business interests including a Canada Bread franchise. He has lived in the Cochrane area since he was a child and municipal politics runs in the family, as his dad Ian Brooker also served as mayor of Cochrane.
Brooker will be attending the Sept. 26 election forum be hosted by the Cochrane Eagle and the Cochrane Lions Club