Funeral director Gary Sulz is running for council — fulfilling a promise he made 20 years ago to a friend.
Back then, Domenico Meloro, who has since passed away, suggested that Sulz run for council.
“My comment to him was, ‘I promise I’ll run when I retire, then I’ll have some time,'” he said. “He spurred me 20 years ago to give thought to doing public service other than funeral service.”
Sulz has been the funeral director at Brandon Bowers funeral home in Revelstoke for 24 years. He is easing into retirement and decided now is the time to enter local politics.
“With some of the issues and things going on, timing for me is right,” he said. “I can actually make that commitment.”
Like all other candidates that have declared so far, Sulz said fostering an environment to help support Revelstoke businesses is his main goal.
“Some of the businesses don’t stay afloat for a long time, so I’d like to see things be a little more viable,” he said. “I’m not sure how as a councillor I can help with that but I’m willing to step forward and say, ‘We need to do something.'”
Despite that, I asked the question: How, as a councillor, would Sulz support business? He raised two issues — one is to attract businesses or light industry that pay people a decent wage so they can stay in Revelstoke.
“I think as a councillor we can look at ways of attracting business and light industry into the community and then by attracting the right type of business that will blend with our tourism business that we already have here, then maybe people will be able to stay here and work here and actually make a living,” he said.
The other is to watch city spending to keep taxes as low as possible. “The money thing is what spurs everything,” he said. “We need to make sure taxes are affordable for everyone.”
He’s realistic in noting that taxes won’t be lowered, so he said council will have to decide what services are provided and how they are provided so that taxes don’t have to be raised.
“We need to look at how services are delivered to make sure that we stay viable as a city but we also don’t put a burden on the tax payer,” he said.