I grew up in West Vancouver and have lived in Calgary, England and North Vancouver before moving to Duncan in 1993. I am a graphic and website designer. From 1994-1996, I was hired by a local paper to draw the editorial cartoons. As a result became very informed about many local issues.
I was very annoyed at how the council of the day did not seem to be paying attention to the wishes of the public in regard to the Official Community Plan. I was further angered at the unnecessary clearcutting of McAdam Park, among other issues. So I decided to throw my hat in the ring. No one was more surprised than I when I actually got elected.
At the same time, I managed Ariel Office Services, a small but busy office services and photocopy shop on the corner of Kenneth and Jubilee. It became a meeting and drop off place, where people would come to share opinions and information. I still miss it to this day.
My first term was a difficult one as I was the one person on council with a different vision than the rest. By the second term, two more progressive councillors were elected and things began to change. This has continued over the next few councils. Not everyone always agrees, not everyone believes the same things, but most of us agree on a process. You donâ€™t always get what you want, but you usually get something you can live with.
This work has given me great satisfaction and joy. It occasionally makes me want to light my hair on fire. But it is never boring and I hope I can count on your vote again on Nov. 15.
And by the way, if you were to look at the cartoons I did 20 years ago, it is amazing how relevant some of them still are!
What issues concern you most and why?
I have been lucky to have served the people of Duncan since 1996. What I bring to council is an understanding of the process. I have seen many changes â€” mostly good and some not so good.
I want council to be able to make wise choices based on past good decisions and on a future vision. That future vision should come from public consultation and development of a strategic plan. A strategic plan that is not politically driven.
I want to:
1. Continue to develop partnerships with other regional governments to create further efficiencies
2. Support policies that promote an affordable community with a stable and diverse economy
3. Create more opportunities for public input
4. Encourage and assist the highway merchants to form their own Business Improvement Area
5. Support decisions around the creation of a carbon neutral community, approaching zero waste that has affordable, safe, public and active transportation options.
We do not live in a vacuum. We are facing issues that go far beyond sidewalks and sewers. We do have to care about what is happening nationally and internationally.
Our climate is changing, the river is affected, our weather is affected. We must be able to mitigate theses affects as best we can.
Federal and provincial downloading and the disappearance of traditional grant funds for social programs have forced many organizations and community groups to look to local governments for funding to run programs that ease the lives of seniors, families, children and the disabled. We cannot simply turn them all away at the door by saying "Our job is infrastructure."
As for amalgamation, some are claiming it will save us money. I do not believe it for a moment. However, I am in favour of asking the question. Nothing is ever lost by asking.
I will strongly resist the recent move by some to return to the 1950s and focus on sewer, sidewalks, water and roads alone. We don’t live in that kind of a world any more. And I, for one, donâ€™t want to.