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Faust proud of record, says more work to be done

I am running for re-election in RDCK Area E because I want to continue to work with the community
Ramona Faust

I am running for re-election in RDCK Area E because I want to continue to work with the community to build a vibrant, sustainable future. Area E is rich in volunteerism, community assets, has creative artists and hard working business people. It has been a pleasure to work with community groups to support issues that are important to them such as drinking water, hospital expansion, economic development, recreation facilities, transit service and programs that enrich our quality of life.

I want to continue to work with the RDCK board on the Carbon Neutral Kootenays Program, the Sustainability Plan, Wildfire Protection Program and Resource and Recovery Plan. A personal goal is to find programs to allow seniors to stay in their homes and have rural options for seniors housing.

Who am I? I am married with two adult children. I have lived in RDCK Area E, both Blewett and Procter, for 32 years and am very grateful to have raised my family here. My education is in horticulture and human services. I have worked as the executive director of North Kootenay Lake Community Services for six years where I was responsible for programs and a staff of 30 wonderful people who enrich young families’ lives and support adults dealing with personal and social issues such as poverty and addiction. We recently were accredited for procedures, policies and public outreach. Prior to that I managed the award winning Harrop-Procter Community Forest and worked with special needs children at School District 8.


#1. Retaining Area E’s rural lifestyle is a top priority for residents and I am excited by and committed to this challenge. Pursuing opportunities to provide, maintain and improve local facilities and infrastructure while keeping tax increases to a minimum is important. This will require finding efficiencies and seeking outside investment.

Real estate values are high in Area E and it has become a desirable place for upscale summer houses and retirement homes. This has driven residential taxes upward; being unsustainable for longtime residents. Area E is rural, with hobby farms, livestock and family gardens prevalent. The community is multigenerational with seniors and young families choosing some measure of self sufficiency and enjoyment of the environment. Area E has schools, businesses, cottage industries and tourism. All of these interests must thrive in a balanced community. It is important to adapt to external change while keeping the things we value intact.

#2. Community engagement and involvement: I would like to organize a meeting with the many groups in Area E to create a three-year plan for working on their priorities. Area E has dedicated volunteers and prefer to not have tax supported recreation facilities.

With a planned approach we can use Area E resources wisely, have fundraisers and seek grants to accomplish the vision the communities have for health care, education and community facilities. The public process for Columbia Basin Trust community initiatives proved what communities can do when they support each other.

Regional districts are one of the most direct forms of government and to make good decisions, people deserve information from their director.

Engaging with the communities in Area E has been a great experience over the past three years. My email outreach list has grown, my blog has developed and I think it has been well received.

#3. This has been a great year at the RDCK for working smarter and we want to continue. The RDCK board and staff are dedicated to finding efficiencies in waste and recycling, operation of facilities, vehicle fleets and delivery of services. Staff, directors and the public have developed multi-year plans for adapting how we do business.

Outdated waste and recycling equipment is being replaced with equipment that compacts waste and picks up more waste per run. Truck runs can be circular between facilities rather than trucking back and forth with partial loads.

We have won awards for assessing how to save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through staff driving less, using new technology to reduce energy consumption and collaborating with other regional districts.

A Water System Acquisition Plan means new systems will have to be self supporting before coming in to the regional district.