Salmo Candidates answer questions

The Nelson Star asked each candidate to answer a pair of questions.

  • Nov. 13, 2014 3:00 p.m.

The Nelson Star contacted the three mayoral and 12 council candidates in Salmo and asked them to answer two questions regarding Saturday’s municipal election.

1. Why are you running?

2. What do you feel is the biggest issue of this election?

 

Mayoral Candidates

 

Henry Huser

1. I am running for mayor because I feel that I am at the time of my life and in a position to be able to help and support the Village of Salmo as it moves forward. With my knowledge of the infrastructure and personal business experience I have a lot to offer the Village of Salmo. I believe that with a council of kind, honest, respectful people, we can make Salmo an even greater place to live than it already is.

2. The issues in the front these days come down to trust, respect and transparency. There will be many issues along the way but one of the issues we will face as a small rural community is finding the money to support our aging infrastructure without raising taxes out of reach for young families and the elderly. We will need to be creative in our funding applications so that Salmo can stay on the list of BC’s top 10 spending-control communities.

If Salmo residents elect me as their mayor for the next four years I will do my best, as part of a team, to move Salmo forward in a positive way and we will continue to be proud of the community we live in.

 

Dennis McLean

1. I am 64. Salmo has been my home town for 50 years, 45 with my wife. We’ve raised three children and presently have four generations of family here.

I am retired so have the time to devote to my community, and help to make sure it’s the best place it can be.

By being part of the team I would be able to participate in the effective, efficient management of the town. There has to be a balance between spending and priorities. Infrastructure needs to be secure.

2. Open communication is critical to a happy community and I think it is the biggest issue of this election.

There have been too many secret in-camera meetings which have created doubt and insecure feelings in town. The town’s true state of affairs should be more available to the owners of the town which is the community. If everybody was on the same page it would create a more peaceful, productive atmosphere in town.

 

Stephen White

1. Salmo is fortunate to have so many candidates, all fine people, who have agreed to be nominated for village council.

I’m running for mayor because residents asked me to. They knew that I had experience and that I wouldn’t be in a conflict of interest.

2. The biggest issue of the election has been ending “secret” government. Residents are entitled to know the state of our finances. Residents had no hint Salmo was appointing the City of Nelson as Salmo’s chief financial officer until the Nelson Star report of September 12. We have no audited financial statements beyond 2012. We face unknown legal liabilities arising from numerous unresolved claims. Legal costs alone have risen from less than $1,700 to a projected $39,000 in two years.

We need a mayor and council who are not so encumbered with conflicts of interest as to make them incapable of proposing, debating or deciding where tax dollars should be spent. We need a mayor who is current on the issues, the rules and the law. We need a mayor who is committed to truly open and fiscally responsible government.

That’s why I agreed to serve.

 

Council Candidates

 

Ken Anderson

1. I’m 66. I worked for the village for 21 years, most of those as the public works foreman. I took an early retirement about eight years ago. After retiring I contracted looking after a couple of water systems, and freely helping Salmo with my experience and knowledge. I’m active in the community, volunteering about 20 years with the fire department (retired) and 25-plus years at the Salmo ski hill. I’m a member of the Salmo Lions club and joined the Chamber of Commerce within the last year, on playground and other KP park committees.

I am running because the infrastructure is at the age of needing upgrading or replacement. With my experience and knowledge I feel I could be an asset to the town.

2. The biggest issue is to stop the unrest so the village can move forward and make improvements.

We have many affordable things to do run by volunteers in and around our community. It would by nice to build on these and create more employment to draw more families to our area.

As I’m new to politics my learning curve would be great. The mayor and council is a team effort for the good of the town. I am looking forward to the challenge if elected.

 

Dan Danforth

1. This my first time asking my community to place their trust in me on council. I am fully aware of our local issues. I know this because I have been a very longstanding observer and critic of the present mayor/council. I learned by attending every possible council meeting, and informing Salmo of what is actually happening through our own local newspaper.

2. The present regime has failed Salmo to the point where I feel I must help a renewed council correct the problems. At the same time, we must move forward to revitalize our whole community.

The biggest issue Salmo will have in order to recover, is to have a truly responsible, accountable, and transparent, mayor/council. This renewed council must be responsive to what our community really wants, and needs, without conflicts of interest and personal agendas. As a retired veteran of a full military career, I now have the time, energy, and work ethic to do this for my chosen home.

 

Steve Dimock

1. I was raised in Salmo and while my wife and I have lived all over the province, we chose to bring up our family in Salmo because it’s a great community. Fresh air, clean water and wonderful people are just a few of the things the village has going for it.

I’ve always thought I would run for council at some point and circumstances seem to be coming together for me to have the time to dedicate to that now since I’m retiring from a few of the other organizations I’ve been involved in.

2. As I see it, the biggest issue of this election is that people aren’t happy with how some issues have been handled. I know there is usually more to it than meets the eye, but if elected, I would draw on my years of experience working on successful teams and committees, to bring resolution and closure to those issues. We need to put them behind us and move forward.I realize that not everyone’s vision of a good or the best resolution will be the same, but the bottom line needs to be “what is best for the village as a whole.”

 

Merle Hanson

I was elected a commissioner in 1965 (later renamed alderman) and served for 12 years, served as mayor for 22 years, and am now finishing six years as councillor.

The No. 1 challenge facing our community is maintaining our current level of services. Salmo has many services and functions with participation from Area G and its director. If it wasn’t for the combined effort, we wouldn’t have as many functions that we may have begun to take for granted.

We need to keep up efforts being made to keep the services and functions at the present level, that are not possible without increased funding or allowing our infrastructure to continue to deteriorate (streets and sidewalks). We don’t want to have to use the rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul approach to fund what might be considered more favorable functions. Alternative approaches to funding may need to be looked at.

We are currently working on improvements in our water system and we need to continue to ensure sufficient supply for our personal use as well as fire protection.

 

Janine Haughton

The No. 1 challenge facing all small communities is the constant downloading and federal and provincial cutbacks on government funding.

One strategy to combat this is to join in partnerships with other municipalities to share big ticket expenses and expertise in all areas such as human resources, engineering, financial, etc.

An outstanding issue at this moment is the acquisition of a new Fast Attack vehicle, which our fire department really needs.

 

 

 

 

Jonathon Heatlie

1. I am running because I feel Salmo needs new leadership and a younger demographic to step into the roles of council.

2. The biggest issue I see for this election is lack of ownership from the previous council and mayor for the huge legal fees and lack of reserves for infrastructure upgrades.

 

Daniel Isaacs

1. I am running for council with the hope of bringing unity and solid leadership to village council and the community.

2. I believe the biggest challenge to village council right now is lack of representation for people in my age range and demographic. I also sense a disconnect between some of the aging demographic running for council and people with young families. Youth and people with young families have had very little representation on council for a number of years. Salmo is in need of a culture change. I’m hoping to be part of a team that is focused on moving Salmo into the future rather than dwelling on past mistakes or perceived wrongdoings.

I believe the key to Salmo’s success lies in voting in a council with positive attitude, fresh ideas and solid leadership skills.

Salmo needs a fresh, new generation of council members.

We have a number of outstanding projects that have sat incomplete for years. We need a council that can work together, come to an agreement and start moving them forward — start moving Salmo forward.

 

Diana Lockwood

1. I am running because I have the knowledge from regular attendance of council meetings and committee of the whole meetings over this last term. This will enable me to hit the ground running and I feel that I can make a difference over the next four years.

2. I believe the biggest issue in this election is to control spending.

If elected to Salmo council I will remember that I was elected by the residents of Salmo to represent them and govern accordingly. We need taxpayers’ money spent wisely on the day-to-day workings of a village the size of Salmo.

Working as a nurse I know the importance of teamwork. I know that my experience living in Salmo and my dedication to making it a better community will help me be part of a new council team that can make the changes we need.

With your support I look forward to serving our village over the next four years.

 

Jim Mullaly

1. I have been attending most council meetings this year. I have become very aware of the mess that Salmo affairs are in. If Salmo is to survive as a community, something has to be done.

2. Salmo needs a council and mayor that can work together and with the people of town. Council will need to attract business, not run it out of town. Spending needs to be reined in. You cannot raise property taxes to pay for toys and trips just because somebody wants it.

 

 

 

 

 

Cathy Paton

1. For the past 16 years, I have been the director of the Salmo Children’s Centre, but outside of that career are many causes that I have been passionate about. As with many residents of this beautiful village, my husband, Fred, and I have always stepped forward when an extra hand is needed. Salmo thrives on volunteerism and those who volunteer with Salmo’s many amazing organizations are the ones who really make a difference and improve the quality of life for us all.

2. Children and the environment are my passions. The decisions I make on a daily basis have the well-being of children and the well-being of the Earth in mind. I am always learning how to be a better advocate for children and a better steward for the environment.

If I am elected to the village council, I will continue to hold my two passions close when making decisions: Families need a voice in all communities, and I would be honoured to be a positive voice for the families of Salmo; the environment also needs a voice. Green economic development, clean industry and sustainability for Salmo are all attainable goals.

 

Curt Richens

I am running for councillor because I believe that our town needs some changes and I want to be part of that change.

There has already been a lot of talk about the finances and for sure there are some answers and solutions needed. I believe the bigger issue is not so much the money but the people who are our greatest resource.

We need to be able to hear the voice of the town and facilitate those needs. We already have great infrastructure in place with a ski hill, pool, youth center, golf course, great schools etc. We need to grow around what we have.

We are at a crossroads in Salmo and we can choose to slowly dwindle away and become another statistic or we can look to growth, helping our local businesses, bringing in new business and new families. We have the ability to take charge and move forward.

So on November 15 I urge you to vote. We need to have a team of people who love this community and have a heart for the people, a team that isn’t about a title, but about a town.

 

Bob Vliet

As a longtime resident, I have seen the resilience of the village of Salmo. My wife Gerry and I raised five children in our community. Salmo is the place I would still choose to make my home if I had to do it over again. Salmo has smiling faces, fresh air, pure water, a positive community spirit and all the future growth possibilities of being on and at the junction of major arterial travel highways.

Let’s take advantage of Columbia Basin Trust’s desire to help bring us high speed wireless service. All types of businesses gain advantage from it. If you have it they will come. Start small and build a solid base. Having served a term on council, I have the desire and ability to bring a positive aspect to the next term on council. I want to have our infrastructure up to date. We still do not have SCADA reports delivered to council at the general meetings. That is the way that you and I would know that our water and sewer systems are operating properly. I asked for this three years ago. The federal and provincial governments require it. Given a new mandate on a new council I will put my knowledge of this and much more to work for you.

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