Michael Brooks-Hill may not be as well known as his two competitors for the Revelstoke mayor’s chair, but he is hoping he can attract voters looking for a change in leadership.
“Currently there’s two people running who are essentially former mayors,” said the 32-year-old in an interview Friday afternoon, referring to David Raven and Mark McKee. “I don’t see any choice for change.”
Brooks-Hill is the surprise third candidate for mayor in the upcoming Nov. 15 municipal election. He filed his paperwork at city hall Friday afternoon, with the deadline approaching.
Brooks-Hill moved to Revelstoke in 2001 to ski and work; he has worked as a treeplanter for more than a decade, he said. His parents and two brothers both live here. He admits he has not been very involved with community groups. “Now is the time that I want to get involved,” he said.
Brooks-Hill is running because he sees a need for change and wants to provide an alternate to McKee and Raven. Like many candidates, he said the city needs to reduce spending, start paying off the debt and reduce the tax burden on businesses.
He says the city has been trying to do too much by reaching towards a future promised by the resort that hasn’t come.
“There’s a lot of policies towards this hugely expanding city when none of that has actually happened,” he said. “Council needs to focus more on the city that’s actually here and the people that are living here as opposed to these theoretical new businesses and people and the theoretical money they will have.
“They need to focus on the money they actually have and enhance the policies for the people who are already here.”
He wants to make the city friendlier for cyclists and pedestrians, which he thinks will also help attract tourists.
He also wants to work on a new land management for the surrounding area that will take into account recreation interests, as well as logging, bringing up the clear-cutting on Boulder Mountain and proposed logging for Mount Macpherson. “I think having more control of our local area would be a very good goal.”
Affordable housing is another goal he brought up.
He sees his role as mayor as that of a consensus builder and getting council to work together.
“I think Revelstoke is an excellent town,” he said. As I said, it has a lot of strong points. There’s a very strong sense of community. I don’t think the direction Revelstoke has been going, we have to go in a complete 180 degrees. It’s more a matter of tweaking it.”