The main issues in Saltair are readily apparent, but there’s more to it than meets the eye for Area G (Saltair/Gulf Islands) Cowichan Valley Regional District candidate Sean Jonas.
“There’s two main issues I feel that are not water and community centre,” he said. “Getting along and information flow. If you can’t get along with people, you’re in the wrong position. And information flow is critical.”
Jonas, 54, is one of the four candidates to replace outgoing director Mel Dorey. He served four years as alternate director to Dorey and feels he knows the ins and outs at the regional district well.
“I believe I’m the most used alternate in the whole CVRD,” he indicated. “I know every other director very well. I know staff quite well.”
Jonas was born in Calgary and grew up there as well as Winnipeg up to Grade 10 and the final years of high school at David Thompson Senior Secondary in Invermere while living in Fairmont Hot Springs.
“I have been involved in almost every community I have lived in over my life,” he pointed out. “Volunteering and community service are values that were implanted in me very young by my parents. When I was young, Glynn Watson was the director for the area I lived in and was one of our neighbours in Fairmont Hot Springs. It’s great that he also played a role in the OCP for Area G. I think my father and Glynn would be pleased with my run for area director.”
Jonas’ relocation occurred after he put in a VCR movie kiosk for the company he worked for at the time at Byron’s Grocery in Saltair. He was playing golf on Jan. 19, 1992 in Nanaimo in balmy 19 degree Celsius weather, but then flew back to Calgary and it was -40 C.
“That’s all it took, I moved to the coast within the week,” Jonas indicated.
He lived in Victoria for a while and then Chemainus.
In 2007, he returned to his roots as a financial advisor and has been an independent financial advisor since 2008, including the last seven operating P.J. Grandview Financial Services Corporation.
Jonas noted he’s served in numerous board positions over the years, including Ladysmith Downtown Business Association, Cowichan and Regional District SPCA, Saltair Ratepayers, briefly for Saltair Community Society and a few others.
“In my business and my personal life I preach fiscal responsibility,” he added. “Why would it be any different for the community overall? There is one pot that we have to get money from, and we must decide on our priorities, no different than when we have to tighten our belts with household finance.”
Information flow is seen as an important issue to Jonas. “The CVRD needs to reassure residents by constantly informing us of actions taken and/or reasons for inaction,” he pointed out.
On the topic of water, “with having spent the last few months at Stage 3 water restrictions, and being very close to the driest community in B.C. earlier in the year, we narrowly dodged the fire bullet,” he noted. “Had our community had a fire, it would have exhausted our water supply. Long and short, we need a stable clean reliable plentiful water source.”
Bringing together a divided community is also high on his agenda. “Without a shared vision of what our community is, we will remain divided,” he explained.
Working productively with each other and the CVRD for a positive environment makes a great community, Jonas concluded.
”Volunteer with the Parks Commission, volunteer with the society, join the Saltair District Ratepayers Association, find a positive way to get involved in the community.“