A Balfour resident is challenging the current Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) board member for Area E in the upcoming election.
Area E covers the rural area from Balfour to Blewett, Taghum Beach, and Cottonwood Lake.
Ramona Faust is running for her fourth term on the board.
Among her personal accomplishments she lists sitting on various RDCK committees, helping to initiate the Kootenay Lake Partnership that has resulted in a shoreline guidance document, helping community groups and schools across the area develop new playgrounds, and “helping the community to realize Morning Mountain as a recreation feature rather than a place for partying.”
She said she is involved in a number of initiatives that she wants to see to completion.
“I was at the Taghum boat launch meeting and would like to see that through to a conclusion that the entire community is happy with. I met the other day with a small group of people interested in seeing a family hub at Redfish. And there is always more to do with transit.”
Faust said she wants to continue working on the RDCK’s resource recovery plan, which includes concluding a deal with RecycleBC that will save taxpayers a significant amount. And she wants to be involved in the RDCK’s plans for organic waste processing.
She said she wants the RDCK to continue addressing climate change and wildfire risk.
“I have been happy to be among the leaders in interface fuel reduction and wildfire mitigation in Area E. Seeing that project move ahead is important.”
Faust said she is concerned about conflicts between resource development and drinking water, and wants to work with the province to create certainty for both sides. And she wants to continue to work with community groups.
“There are many non-profits in Area E and they have things they want to do. I want to continue to work with them to help achieve their goals.”
Reggie Goldsbury’s great grandfather was an officer on the SS Moyie, his father was born in Nelson, and he is currently raising a family in Balfour. The 28 year old has been the hospitality manager at the Dock and Duck for 10 years and has been part of the Balfour and District Business and Heritage Association and the local recreation commission.
He says his youth is one of his qualifications as a candidate.
“I calculated the average age of the [current] directors and they would qualify for a seniors discount,” he says. “I bring a perspective from a young demographic and better representation from families.”
Goldsbury says a big problem in the RDCK is communication about the RDCK.
“The RDCK offers 170 services and most people don’t know what they do. They just complain that you are taking my tax money. A lot of people are feeling out of the loop and I am going to be the one who bridges that. Voter turnout is low. People want to engage but it is easier to complain, so everything comes down to better communication.”
He thinks current communication is behind the times.
“I have had people tell me it has been up to a week until their representative has contacted them when they send them an email. The current director doesn’t even have a Facebook page.”
Goldbury thinks economic development is a significant issue in the area.
“We need to build communities so people, when they come here, we can retain them. There are families leaving and we have a lot of business opportunities.”
He says this comes down to communication again.
“There are economic opportunities here that need to be exploited. The RDCK offers a lot that would help people that they don’t know about.”
He says the RDCK should be a better resource for where people can get funding for projects.
“There are many associations in our riding that apply for grants but they don’t know about all of them, for things like building docks or renovating our parks. I mean everything is about better communication.”