Castlegar News sent questions to the Castlegar mayor and council candidates as well as the Regional District of Central Kootenay Area J candidates.
Each candidate was given a maximum of 100 words to answer each question. Answers appear exactly as submitted, unless they were shortened due to being over the 100 word limit.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am Castlegar born and raised. I moved away for post secondary education. Life brought us back 17 years ago to buy a local business. I am married with three kids and many more that have become family, and we are having our first grand baby this month! I have worked in our education system, social sector, and the service industry, and I actually love meetings, I know that’s weird! We love the outdoors and love to hike, rock climb, boat, and pretty much anything that will get us out into the beauty that surrounds Castlegar.
What is the biggest issue you see facing the city and how would you address it?
The biggest issue I see facing our city is collaboration, but not on a council level. I believe we have worked really hard to create a safe, inclusive environment, where everyone’s voice matters. We need to create a community that does the same. The last couple years have eroded some of this from our society and we need to work to rebuild unity. I would also like to see greater collaboration with our surrounding regional areas and cities. I strongly believe we are better together!
What are your top three city priorities?
One, Housing. I believe that everyone knows this. Everyone sees the rising prices, and lack of housing stock and availability.
Two, the airport. I will continue to advocate for our RNP to be approved. This will drastically improve our reliability and will have a positive impact on economic development, tourism, and quality of life for those that need to travel for things like medical appointments and the like.
Three, our waste management. We need to work towards a sustainable solution for our growing city. Whether we want it or not, growth is coming and we need to be prepared.
How do you think the city could address the housing shortage?
I will continue to look for creative solutions. I developed a housing committee in my first year on council. This was to get everyone in the same room and find out what the needs really were. As council, we commissioned a housing strategy which came back with some action items. I will continue to advocate for those action items. Those are things like incentivizing housing developments, looking for ways that we can streamline building permits and processes, and many more. I will continue to look for creative ideas and solutions, such as our housing and art gallery relocation project.
What type of development would you like to see in our community, and what steps would you take to attract it?
I am tentative to answer because the question is extremely complex. What I will say is that we did an economic development plan for the city and surrounding areas. The experts came back with very specific, yet diverse options. I would like to look at diversifying our development, while still supporting our local businesses and industry.
What skills or experience do you have that would make you a good mayor?
My education began in advance science and mathematics before it merged into leadership development and conflict resolution. On top of my bachelor’s degree, I have taken courses in crisis management and debriefing, accounting, critical thinking and much more. I have had the opportunity to travel our province to work with leadership teams and organizations on two key areas. One, how to work past our differences to create a healthy, diverse, collaborative team. Two, how to set priorities, and goals and plan out how to execute them. I owned a business for 8 years and I am a current Councillor.
Why should local residents vote for you?
I love this city! I am a mom raising a family here, I am a grandma (I know, I don’t look old enough!). I have parents and grandparents that are aging here. My extended family homesteaded here, their names are still on some of the roads. I believe my life experience and relational dynamics give me a unique perspective. One that sees things from all age ranges, economic status and backgrounds. I am invested not only for today but for tomorrow!
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