The 2014 municipal election is quietly creeping up on us, with less than six months to go until it’s time to vote for mayor and council.
Mayor David Raven told the Times Review he is “95 per cent sure” he will run for a third term.
So far, only four names have thrown their hat in the ring to compete for a spot on council — incumbents Linda Nixon and Gary Starling (see below), and newcomers to the political arena, Scott Duke and Trevor English.
I met Duke and English for a coffee last week to discuss why they were running. I didn’t get deep into issues, with the belief more detailed discussions will be better left to closer to the election when more people are paying attention.
Duke and English are both part of Focus Revelstoke, which they describe as a think tank and not a political party. Focus Revelstoke has been making some noise lately and the Times Review will look more at what they are about in an upcoming article
Duke, 32, an Ontario native, is best known in Revelstoke for founding StokeFM, the community radio station on which he co-hosts the morning show three times a week.
He said he is running because, “To be honest, I’m frustrated with current leadership, is the main reason.”
He will be running on an agenda of “better fiscal responsibility and better management of people’s money.”
Duke is an entrepreneur who touted his business background as one of his qualifications for being a councillor. He listed off nine businesses he has run, including a clothing company, painting company, snowmobile rental business, and vacation rental company. Since moving to Revelstoke in 2010 he launched Duke’s Dogs, StokeFM and Revelstoke Property Services. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors.
English, 39, was born in Revelstoke, though his family moved away when he was one and he didn’t return until 2011. In between that time, he lived in Saskatchewan and the Shuswap.
He came to Revelstoke when he was transferred to Jacobson Ford’s Revelstoke dealership and not long after he took on the manager position at the Bargain Store — now the Red Apple. He was a member of the chamber board until he stepped down earlier this year to run for council.
He has two children, aged 15 and 10, and said he is running to make Revelstoke a better place for them. “I want to make Revelstoke the best community it can be,” he said. “My family’s never been happier than it has been here and I want to give back to the city.”
English hopes to improve the business climate in Revelstoke to make it more encouraging for entrepreneurs and youth.
“I think what can make Revelstoke the best community is a healthy blend of services, businesses that are profitable, and a standard living of care for all the residents of Revelstoke across the whole demographic — services for children, seniors, every day people,” he said.
What about current council?
With less than six months to go to the municipal election, we asked current mayor and council if they intended to run for re-election? Here’s how they replied.
Mayor David Raven: I am about 95 per cent sure that I will run again. The honour of serving allows me to work for my community in a constructive way with the personal satisfaction of having contributed to a community that I feel strongly about. The issues going into the next election cycle may change over the next six months, however the core questions around taxes, services and the demands of a balanced economy will certainly be part of the discussion.
Steve Bender: Undecided. Issues are replenishing surpluses, infrastructure maintenance, vacation rental policy, maintaining our high level of social and health services which make Revelstoke so attractive to newcomers, attaining fairness and balance between those who wish Revelstoke to grow as quickly as possible and those who wish a more cautious approach to growth. It’s called listening to and carefully analyzing all sides of any given issue.
Chris Johnston: No response.
Linda Nixon: I am looking forward to the opportunity to serve as a councillor again and will be running for one of the six positions. The big issues for Revelstoke will be to work towards increasing population full time, sustaining the ‘cost of living’ jobs in the community and ensuring that those who are working poor have a healthy living environment.
Tony Scarcella: No response
Gary Starling: I will be running for council again this year. The most important issue for Revelstoke? I would say that we need to ensure that our business community remains vibrant. We are fortunate to have a diverse economy in Revelstoke and we need to continue to support that.
Phil Welock: I’m not a poker player but wouldn’t play my hand this early in the final year of our term.