The Nelson Star contacted the three mayoral and nine council candidates in Kaslo and asked them to answer two questions regarding the upcoming municipal election on November 15.
The two questions are:
1. Why are you running?
2. What do you feel is the biggest issue of this election?
1. The primary reason that I am running for mayor is that I love my community and this is a very important way that I can give back. I feel that over the past 10 years as a councillor I have gained the skills and experience necessary to lead council in a cooperative and respectful manner. Also, since I have lived in Kaslo for over 30 years I feel I have a very strong understanding of the issues being faced in our community.
2. Although I have identified several areas in my campaign that I feel are important to the community as a whole I also feel it is difficult to pinpoint one single issue that is more important than the others. I would say that one of the primary ones would be trying to keep both residential and business taxes at an affordable level while still being able to provide the services that residents want and deserve. Having been chairperson of the budget committee for the past six years I know this is often a very daunting and almost impossible task as there are many things that can’t be anticipated that council has to deal with.
1. I am running because I believe Bylaw 1151 adopted by Kaslo Council May 13 provides a clear strategy which will allow our village to grow and prosper. If elected I will work with council to turn words into actions. Nine objectives and policies have been established.
Priorities would be 1) Review village’s vacant land portfolio with respect to income generation 2) Pursue economic development initiatives for business and industry that are not dependent upon municipal funding sources 3) Review the distribution of taxation between different property tax classes 4) Modernize and improve financial management, analysis and reporting 5) Actively seek federal and provincial grants for major infrastructure repair and replacement
2. The challenging issue for the community in this election is to choose between candidates who wish to maintaining the current village conditions or candidates who wish to increase community prosperity through growth of innovative creative businesses and sustainable economic development projects.
I am running for council because we need to move forward and get away from the special interest groups (lobbyists) that can have a negative influence on council and often result in poor decisions for the people of Kaslo. For instance the Kaslo and District Community Forest Society has a council representative who sits on the board. The office was going to be closed and managed by a group from out of town.
If I didn’t speak up and this became a reality how many people from Kaslo would be employed there today? The council are caretakers of the village’s assets and the eyesore in Kaslo Bay is another result of a council not doing their due diligence. I have served on councils, boards and societies and have never been accused of conflict of interest. Do you want four more years of the same old stuff or do you want change and to move forward?
1. I am running because it is time for a change. A change to a council that can work together as a team towards the prosperity of the Village of Kaslo.
2. I consider the biggest issue in Kaslo is the importance of the village to move forward on sustainable economic development. Together, council and community groups would strive to further the vision of the Kaslo InfoNet to improve broadband throughout our community and area. This would improve the viability of potential entrepreneurs to move to our community and be able to live and contribute in an improved economic situation.
1. Being of service to my Kaslo community has been an important aspect of my life for the past 20 years. I am running for village council as I see it as a means of making a positive difference on a larger scale. I would like to be part of a diverse team of individuals, with varied experience and abilities, who are willing to work together for the betterment of our community as a whole. No hidden agendas. No strings attached.
2. The implementation of the liquid waste management plan and the annexation of the airport lands seem to be areas of great concern. However Kaslo, as with other small rural communities, has as its primary challenge how to survive and thrive in these tough economic times. Although its mandate is the functioning of the village itself, I hope to be part of a council that is willing to take a positive but realistic approach in creatively solving some of these issues that directly affect us all.
1. I am running for council because I have lived here for 21 years along with my wife Erika and we raised our three children here. In other words, Kaslo is a huge part of our identity now and I think I can contribute to the local politics here. I feel that I can represent many individuals from all stages and walks in life because I’m a father, a business owner, and have decades of experience working in the forest industry and in land use planning, in government and for consultants.
2. I’ve learned that there is no issue on the table that is too small or too large. As a community, we need to value the concerns and efforts of everyone who speaks up because, chances are, if a resident is speaking up or making a notable contribution — maybe with no fanfare — we, as a council can turn that into an opportunity. I don’t expect that every idea or complaint will develop into an opportunity. But we will never know if we don’t begin by listening and then checking into it. I have no agenda walking into this election. Rain or shine I am committing to four years of community service by running for council.
LOUISE DE PAPE
1. I am running for council because I am passionate, committed and honest. I believe that as a Kaslo business owner, I will be able to bring a somewhat different perspective to the table. In addition, my background in fund development and strategic planning has taught me to be critical thinker. I want to work collaboratively and respectfully on a team that will give me the opportunity to share my experience and skills at a council level, for the good of Kaslo and area.
2. Sustainable growth for Kaslo and area. To me sustainable growth means so many things and impacts all aspects of our lives, including economic development, health care, jobs that pay enough for our young families to qualify for a mortgage, public transportation, educational options and so much more. There will always be individuals who resist change and growth and in the same breath wonder why their children have to leave the area for employment. We are very fortunate to have natural resources and services that can accommodate moderate, reasonable growth. Our current demographics show that we have an aging population. I believe that one of our challenges will be to attract and keep young families in our area.
1. I feel that of all the other levels of government, municipalities have the greatest impact to build community and create change which effects our daily life. As I have many years experience clerking for City of Nelson, City of Revelstoke and the RDCK, I feel it is a great chance to share what I have learned about structure, systems and the easiest ways to remove barriers to create positive change. I also see a rise in interest in the younger populations which I feel important as we learn to lead our society forward in the beat way.
2. Retention of young people in our rural communities. As councillor I will continue my efforts to support our young through Kaslo’s Project comeback and the Business Retention and Expansion Project both of which I am the project lead. So far we have created new models for education with the Rural Revival Project and mentorship programs for youth giving business better way to create a smooth succession strategy.
I send my best wishes to all who are running and that we can all work together no matter who wins. I see all amazing people running and want to support you in any way I can.
1. For 25 years, I have worked on issues many rural communities like Kaslo face in transitioning from primary reliance on forestry, mining, or agriculture to a more mix economy. This includes the amenity economy: tourism and recreation, second-home and retirement in-migration, and foot-loose knowledge activities. This is a good thing, but it also creates new social, cultural, and economic issues, such as the lack of affordable housing, increasing cost of living, and a rapidly ageing community. I believe my knowledge, experience, and commitment can help Kaslo carve out a satisfying life for all its residents.
2. The biggest issue of this election is refusing to recognize that our community is changing; it is not the rural place it was 30 or even 10 years ago. Our population is rapidly ageing, our youth emigrating, stronger reliance on a single economy, tourism, and increasing climate change threats such as flooding, landslides, wildfires. We can affect the outcomes of these forces but first, these changes must be clearly recognized, understood and taken into account by our Village Council. Sticking our heads in the sand like ostriches leaves us victims of the worst outcomes.
1. I’ve discovered I like serving the community in this way, it compliments by personal view that elected officials need to have an appreciation of process, procedure, openness and fairness. I also feel I have a wealth of knowledge and skills that can contribute to shaping the future of a place I call home and love.
2. An overarching issue that covers many sub-topics: community engagement, especially to re-enfranchise youth into our political system. Community engagement is essential to address critical issues and ensure that ratepayers and residents are educated and engaged in arriving at solutions.
In Kaslo: Maintaining the legacy of our mountain culture left by generations before us, to ensure we continue to be THE choice for the type of individuals that migrate to places like this.
Appropriately integrate the new technologies arriving at our door to retain and expand our existing business community, and build opportunities for a new wave of entrepreneurs with ideas that currently are inconceivable.
Our physical environment is the foundation which supports all these issues and we must strive to preserve and protect it in the context of careful utilization of the resources.
1. My family and I have lived in the Kaslo area for the last eight years and have completely fallen in love with the town and especially the community. We recently bought a home and enrolled our four children in the local school. I chose to run for council because I have a young family and a invested interest in Kaslo and I want to help build and preserve community infrastructure for the next generations.
2. The biggest issue of this election has to be the closure of our 24 hour emergency service and what as a village we can do to help get it back.
1. After being the public works foreman for 18 years I felt that being on council was an opportunity to pay back a community that has been so good to my family and I.
2. As I am running for my second term I realize that a lot still remains to be done in order to keep our infrastructure in the best possible condition. With another round of Build Canada grants just around the corner an opportunity exists to make badly needed improvements to our water and sewer systems. As well Kaslo Bay continues to be foremost on a lot of people’s minds. Council will no doubt have some hard decisions to make in the next term to develop a waterfront management plan that accommodates all the user groups.