The beginning of November 2020 marked the current city council’s two year anniversary. With the byelection coming up and in February, we asked each of the councillors and mayor what the past two years has been like and if they have any advice for those considering putting their name on the ballot.
What have you learned in the past two years?
Through regular training, conventions and peer to peer discussion, I’ve learned so much about the various levels of jurisdiction in our community.
In the end, most people don’t care what level of government is responsible for a particular task, we just want to know that our lives are getting better and that someone is looking after the details. But to make progress to that end, we must be well versed in the regulatory framework in which we operate.
For example, the way our property taxes are divided amongst our residents is completely out of our hands locally. Councillor Rhind and I have been pushing BC Assessment for more flexible options since we were first elected.
Through collaboration with other municipalities and the heightened conversations due to the pandemic, I hope to see our funding models modernized in the coming years.
Roads, water and sewers are expensive but integral services, and we need to better distribute their costs.
What do you hope to get done by the end of your term?
I hope to see food security and climate action made an integral part of how we make decisions and set goals as a community. Not just lip service, but tangible changes that are integrated into our Official Community Plan and make our valley more livable for generations to come.
I also hope to see citizen engagement and discussion integrated into how we go about the work of the city; we are seeing great progress in this, with collective impact playing an active role in listening to voices that are not often heard.
What advice to you have for people considering running in the upcoming by-election?
Come with an open mind; we are each but one voice in the larger conversation. It’s easy to miss the opportunity for change if you get stuck on the perceived problems with the process.
By learning, listening and collaborating with our peers around the province, we can find better solutions for our community. I look forward to the discussions through the election and beyond!
What do you think is the biggest challenge Revelstoke faces right now and has that changed in the two years since you were elected? How would you like to see it addressed?
Housing was a major issue when I first ran, and it continues to underlie each and every conversation we have now.
I’m proud of the progress we’ve made and excited about the investments made thus far, but these projects need to be completed and people moved into their homes to begin easing the pressure.
By addressing the way we handle short term rentals and updating the zoning bylaws to allow for carriage homes, I hope to see a wider mix of housing options in the near future.
With more options for a home, those who want to stay can, and our community and businesses will be better positioned to deal with our other challenges like food security, climate change, and sustainability in tourism and resource extraction.