Election 2018: Q&A with David Brooks-Hill

Candidate for Columbia Shuswap Regional District

Current job/career: Lawyer

Why do you live in Revelstoke?

It is an ideal place to run an interesting law practice and do all different kinds of legal work. I really enjoy being my own boss, setting my own hours and still making a decent living. I sometimes can hardly believe that I am lawyering one hour, on the ski hill the next and then back at my house deep in the woods chopping firewood all in the same day!

Why are you running to be the CSRD candidate?

I am running to be CSRD Area B Director because I believe we need someone representing the residents who will keep the rural character of the area while still allowing for reasonable development. People should not have their representative enacting laws and policies that the residents do not want and finding ways to do it that give the people no say because they think they know better. I will make sure things are done more democratically and less paternalistically.

Why do you think you are qualified for the job?

My work as a lawyer has prepared me well to understand and leverage bureaucratic systems to achieve my intended outcome. I am very good at finding solutions to difficult conflicts and negotiating agreements. I know and love Area B and have a very good feel for what the residents want to achieve and preserve here. We live outside the City for a reason.

What issues would you want addressed if you were elected?

First and foremost, I will do everything I can to get rid of building inspections and permit requirements. This law was brought in using a method that increased taxes just a small enough amount that it did not require a referendum; then the next year another small increase to hire another inspector they knew all along they would hire. The Director knew people did not want this law and yet voted it in anyway, intentionally leaving no room for input from the residents. This cannot be tolerated.

Second, I would do my best to make sure that no Area residents are required to join the City of Revelstoke if they do not want to. I think there is a good chance this issue will come up again in the near future and residents want a Director who will fight for their interests when up against powerful developers and the City.

Third, I would look hard at the idea of getting rid of residential dumping fees at the waste disposal sites. I think this would be the best way to stop illegal dumping and the environmental damage it causes.

Finally and most importantly, I want to make sure that residents have more input on important changes and decisions that affect them. There needs to be a more democratic approach to decision-making in the future. Online polling will be central to decision-making.

With one chair at a table of many, how do you plan on advocating for your constituents?

I plan on using the input from residents as the backbone of the arguments I make to the other Directors. Every Director knows that they serve the residents and that each electoral Area must serve its self-interest first and foremost when making decisions and advocating for policies. The support of residents for my position is the strongest argument there is for any action the CSRD should take or not take.

I would make sure to build a good relationship with the other Directors and staff in order to better understand each other and the reasons for our positions. I would not however compromise the will of Area B residents in order to get along. I am not above using hard bargaining tactics if necessary in order to get what the Area residents want, including getting rid of building permits and inspections. I will be a strong advocate for Area residents like I am every day for my clients.

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