The Nelson Star contacted the two mayoral and eight council candidates in Slocan 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. I believe the community of Slocan is truly a wonderful place to call home. I would be honoured to work with the generous and hard-working Village of Slocan community as their new mayor and to continue building on the great work we have accomplished thus far together and ensuring Slocan is a great place to call home for future generations. I have the time, experience and dedication to work with the community to achieve our goals.
2. There are a number of important initiatives and projects for the community to work together to accomplish: the senior housing project, the micro hydro project and the waterfront, to merely name a few.
Slocan is a community in transition with many exciting possibilities and opportunities; therefore, it is important to set priorities and goals that are fiscally responsible to enable us to continue moving forward. I recognize it is our volunteers that are the backbone of our community and they make it a great place for us to live. I would be honoured to continue working with the community as their new mayor and continuing to build on supporting and appreciating the great work the volunteers do for the village.
1. Slocan is in transition – and during these times we need a leader who is committed to creating a culture of innovation and “yes!” As an optimistic and progressive leader I am excited to take lead in facilitating conversations (even the difficult ones) that will result in learning, growth, and shared vision through the sharing of ideas and information. As leader of council, I will cultivate strong communications with staff, council and community stakeholders to ensure that we are working together to act on opportunities as they emerge and to implement current and strategic community projects.
2. This past year has been a significant year for our village. The demolition of the mill has resulted in significant decrease in revenue for the village – but has also captured the imagination of our community — and beyond. At this point we need to make necessary adjustments to our budget and operations so that we can ensure that we are able to operate within our new fiscal reality. At the same time, we need to build capacity within our community to explore, discuss and implement innovative ideas to create a thriving, sustainable, community into the future.
1. My name is Ezra Buller and I am running for the position of councillor for the Village of Slocan. I have entered the running because I have been a resident of the community for 10 years and feel like many people have opinions of what should be done in Slocan, but do not get involved in making a difference.
I am willing to try. I feel that I can communicate and listen to the residents, bringing new thoughts, ideas, and an attitude of freshness to the council.
2. I feel the main issues in this election revolve around the creation of our Official Community Plan (some fantastic ideas were brought to the community in the spring by students of Selkirk’s IEP program), as well as the development of some sort of economic influx since the village has seen such a decline in funding since the closing of our local sawmill.
Some residents have voiced concern about the increase in property taxes, yet feel that services have been stagnant or even declining. I hope that I can address some community concerns and look forward to helping develop a positive and focused council.
The greatest issue facing every community is adapting to climate change.
How do we create a sustainable self reliant community that encourages green sustainable industries thus providing a safe attractive environment for all generations.
I believe we can come up with creative solutions to every problem but it takes a village to make it happen.
By running I hope to be a spokesperson for such change.
1. I’m running to continue speaking truth to power — to promote thoughtful informed decision-making in the best interests of the village — to remind council that its function is not to act as a rubber stamp to make the CAO or any particular group happy.
2. Important issues, in my view, include:
The RDCK’s quiet takeover of construction regulation jurisdiction from the six villages in what amounts to functional annexation;
In view of Slocan’s own October Crisis, clarification of police powers and civil rights under such circumstances;
The loss of tax revenue from the mill, and what to do about it;
The hydro project, after six years — still completely up in the air — yet counted upon as a source of future revenue to the exclusion of other possibilities;
The future of the former mill site and council’s unwillingness to attempt to shape that future;
Government by grant application — often contrary to zoning and the OCP — due to lack of effective grant planning and shovel ready projects;
Lack of transparency, including inappropriate use of in camera meetings, censorship of council members, and policies restricting their access to information; and
The corporate imposition of smart meters.
1. To help Slocan get healthier, happier and more harmonious. I want Slocan to have a chlorine-free water supply system. Hydrogen peroxide works better and doesn’t cause cancer. I want Slocan to have the beachfront it deserves, one joined together by an extension to the rails-to-trails, one with expanded greens, game courts and exercise stations. I want Slocan to re-market itself as the “Gateway to the Valhallas” by branding itself through road, trail and beachside photos of the mighty Valhallas in 4’ by 5’ mounted cedar frames with inset trail maps and legends. I want Slocan to be self-sufficient in power, food and economy. Becoming the heaven on Earth it was and will be again!
2. To keep Slocan small and pollution-freeish, but to expand its economy.
1. I am running for council in the village of Slocan with the interest of guiding this beautiful community to grow, flourish and prosper.
I would like to be a voice for the environment, our clean air and water are rare treasures that need protection.
I support the growth of small local business, affordable business options and incentives, creating a community where we can live and work.
2. Creating community is of utmost importance, where the people are heard and valued as humans on every level. I envision, in this diverse community, from our youth to our elders, we have our needs met and upheld by each other and come together through community events, projects and local business.
Growing our food and continuing to support gardens/lawn to garden projects is obviously important.
As a father of three young boys being raised in this town, my 15-plus years of experience as a small business owner and entrepreneur, and as a successful project manager, I feel I have the skills and energy to help bring Slocan to its best potential.
1. I have done two terms as councillor and two as mayor, and thought I was going to retire. Slocan is in a transition phase. We need to generate the revenues lost from the closure of the sawmill. I have worked on the micro hydro project from the beginning, I want to use my experience to push the project to completion. The housing project presented a few weeks ago is exciting, I will put some energy to see it happen.
2. The biggest issue for this election is to work on a budget which reflects our financial situation. I’ll try to maintain the services to the village without big increases in our local taxes (short term), and work for the sustainability of Slocan with the hydro project (long term). A lot of residents are anxious to see the village work on the development of the waterfront. As soon as our financial situation will be stable we can start on it. It is our best asset.
— Slocan council candidates Jean Patterson and Burly Van Bynen were both asked to participate in this Q&A but neither responded. Keep checking nelsonstar.com for Questions and Answers with the remaining candidates in the area including Salmo and Kaslo.