Morinville – Local business owner and past Morinville and District Chamber of Commerce President Sheldon Fingler was the second prospective candidate to file papers Thursday morning.
Fingler, 40, was born and raised in Morinville and said he has always been active in the community. In addition to living in the community his entire life, Fingler did a stint working for the Town of Morinville in the Public Works Department before starting his own event business.
He was prompted to run for office to fill Van de Walle’s vacant seat after being urged to run by several people in the community. “The more my phone rang, the more I considered it,” he said. “I finally had enough interest that it pushed me forward.”
Fingler said he has always had an interest in public service; however, it was never a focus until now. “Having worked for the municipality, there becomes a different sense of involvement,” he said, adding when he left Public Works 10 years ago he was the transportation foreman. “Throughout my whole experience working with the town, I got interested in municipal politics.”
Fingler has kept abreast of municipal matters as a resident and through his involvement with the Chamber over the years. More recently his company has been providing sound for the Capital Region Board meetings in Edmonton, a provincially-sanctioned body that looks at long-term planning in the region. “I actually attend every Capital Region Board meeting and hearing some of the discussions there and seeing some of the actions, got me thinking about it,” Fingler said, adding he has been approached at the CRB level by people asking why he had not yet run. “That got me thinking about it a few years ago, heavily.”
He said he did not feel ready to run during the last municipal election but now feels confident the time is right.
Fingler said he sees CRB as an important element of municipal politics today. “In a very broad framework, Capital Region is the boss,” Fingler said. “No matter what we want to do as municipalities, we now fall under a whole different set of guidelines. We have a greater good to work with. The Capital Region Board basically is aligning all municipalities so that we are structured in our growth forward, in our infrastructure forward, in our communities.” It is a situation he sees as having its benefits and problems.
The candidate said he sees several issues in Morinville, but feels he cannot pick his own issues, working instead with what Council is doing. “I have to work with them on their issues,” he said. “My personal belief is we need to re-find our sense of community. We’ve got some incredible volunteers in this community and some groups that have done some incredible work.”
Fingler identified St. Jean Baptiste Festival and Canada Day as two grassroots movements that started at the bottom and became large events from community involvement. “It wasn’t top down from a councillor or the mayor,” he said. “It was grown from our community. We need more of that. We need to work for more of that. That creates the sense of community. And that gets me all warm and fuzzy because it’s what we are about.”