Election 2018: Q&A with Rob Elliott

Candidate for Revelstoke City Council

Current job/career: I moved to Revelstoke in 2004 after a ten year stint in the wildly transformed town of Canmore. Currently, I am a housing developer with a small scale project pending on CPR hill. Prior to the development game, the general manager’s role at Revelstoke Mountain Resort consumed much of my time.

Why do you live in Revelstoke?

Reflecting on why I live in Revelstoke, a dad and daughter road trip in the fall of 2003 may have been the impetus. While driving to Vancouver, my car started sputtering on the west side of Rogers Pass. Reaching Revelstoke was a desperate relief. The auto shop I limped into reshuffled their lineup and assured they would deal with the issue right away. While killing time a cadet troop and the bagpipe band paraded by, for what purpose I never knew. My daughter’s carefree dance alongside the cadets took us to Mackenzie Ave. The downtown was a complete surprise. The history, the pace and the unstressed, openness of the people I meet created a convert. A year later Revelstoke was home.

Why are you running for council/mayor?/Why do you think you are qualified for the job?

I’ve experienced the unharnessed growth of Canmore and I’ve played a bit part to the tourism boom Revelstoke now is entrenched. I know first-hand the tribulations of running a small business in our community and I’ve endured the challenges of Revelstoke’s building scene. If there is one reason for my interest in a council, it is to change perspective. The weight of decisions made years ago regarding the resort and tourism is now pressing. The current dialogue and tension however seems reactionary. Revelstoke needs to accept that it is not the same as it was 10 years ago and it will be a very different place 10 years from now. We need to make choices that ensure our community stays viable without compromising its charm and character. We need to be proactive rather than reactive.

What do you think the city should do to fund current and future infrastructure needs?/What do you think the city should do to address affordability for the average citizen?

Affordability and infrastructure are two incendiary issues facing our city. Addressing these concerns will require less emotion and less noise. Big picture objectives need to be established. Solutions should flow from those objectives. Two cursory comments I would add to the affordability discourse are: 1) the supply of long term rental housing is not matching increased demand and 2) the price of rental accommodation will continue to increase until barriers (costs, regulations, risks) to rental provision are addressed. Regarding infrastructure, analysing installations from a business perspective might add clarity to the debate. Concepts such as long term asset financing, return on investment, cost/benefit evaluation, primary and secondary beneficiaries, prioritization.. have to be considered if a sensible solution is to be achieved. Starting conversation with fees and taxes is a recipe for dissent.

What other issues would you want addressed if you were elected?

Further elements that need attention in Revelstoke are many: bureaucratic process, vacation rentals, parking inadequacy, OCP datedness and housing shortages are a few atop the list. Focusing on our problems rather than creative long term solutions would be a mistake. If elected I’ll bring a positive, informed voice to the council table.

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