After seven years living in Revelstoke and being involved in the community, lawyer Connie Brothers is making a run for a seat on council.
“I’ve thought about it for a long time,” she told the Times Review in an interview last week. “It’s the next step, it’s something I would really like to do.”
Brothers announced her intentions to run in a news release last Monday, after our last press deadline. I met with her at her office overlooking Mackenzie Avenue and Second Street to find out why she was running.
Brothers moved to Revelstoke with her husband Arvid Zakary just as Revelstoke Mountain Resort opened. They bought the Howson building on Mackenzie, which had been gutted by a fire, and had it re-built. Zakary eventually opened Revy Realty on the main floor, while Brothers has her office upstairs.
Recently, Brothers has been on the board of both the Chamber of Commerce and Community Connections. She has also been one of the de-facto leaders of the group known as Focus Revelstoke.
She said she has a vision for Revelstoke — one that involves economic growth as a driver to allow Revelstoke to grow.
Revelstoke needs to be proactive to address its challenges, and it needs an economic plan,” she said.
“You want a healthy community and a really important part of that health is economic health,” she said. “If you’re healthy economically, everything else comes into place.”
Brothers talked about the larger picture during our interview, not really going into any specifics. She said Revelstoke needed to make sure it was attractive to people looking to invest here — whether its families or bigger businesses.
“How do you attract people here? How do you attract businesses here?” she said. “You have to make sure it’s attractive for them. You have to make sure whatever money they invest, they’re not going to lose it.”
She stressed the need to keep young people in the community by making sure there were jobs for them.
“If people come in and have hopes and dreams and then have to leave because it doesn’t work for them, sooner or later people will stop coming,” she said. “People have to have jobs and they have to have housing. It has to be economically viable for them, otherwise they leave with sadness.”
Brothers looks at Revelstoke as a can-do community. She talked about the work community connections does with its limited budget, and how involved many people are in the community.
“One of the things I think is really important to maintain is the social network in town, and that’s things like Community Connections,” she said. “We have to make sure that those people are sustainabile, that they can keep doing what they’re doing, and part of it is just being economically healthy.”
What does she say to people worried about all the change happening in Revelstoke, people who might not like it so much?
“I think if you embrace change and look at it as a way to make this community better, then I think everybody will embrace it and be happy about it,” she said. “I think we have to show that change is a good thing and that it’s good for this community.”
Brothers is the third chamber board member to run for council after Scott Duke and Trevor English. Karen Powers, the owner of Conversations, has also declared her intention to run. Existing councillors Linda Nixon and Gary Starling said they will run again, while Chris Johnston has indicated he is stepping down.