Mayor candidate Mary Jayne Blackmore (Submitted photo)

Mayor candidate – Mary Jayne Blackmore

I want to see us support infrastructure which naturally enriches the livability and vitality for all ages of citizens including a sustainable plan for the Creston Education Centre.

I grew up in a third generation farm family in the Creston Valley. Blackmores brought industry to the valley through value-added forestry products and owned many businesses in Creston. I moved away to attend university and returned with my teaching degree and have taught school for ten years. As Vice Principal of Mormon Hills School, I worked closely with Ministry of Education to design and implement a Dogwood Certified ministry accredited high school program. To enhance my knowledge and skills in community development and conflict resolution, I have taken training in Community Conversations and Collective Impact Strategies. Around town, I’m well known as the relentless voice of the Trails for Creston Valley Society. With years of experience researching, networking with neighboring communities and different levels of government, I understand well what is needed to move grassroots systems forward.

I want to see us support infrastructure which naturally enriches the livability and vitality for all ages of citizens including a sustainable plan for the Creston Education Centre.

The rental housing sector in the community is feeling strain which affects all demographics of our community. The Official Community Plan includes useful recommendations to help reduce this strain. I would like to see council make this topic a priority in the next four years including looking into multiage community housing models.

Garnering political buy-in these next four years is key to support the energy going into expanding and strengthening the four pillars of Economic Action Partnership.

In addition, a jointly funded Parks and Recreation Commission is needed to develop “Iconic Creston Valley” features as a key tool in boosting our tourism industry. Moving forward, these are some of our best tools to encourage attracting like industry to the region while supporting our existing businesses to thrive. Having the political will to see the long-term vision of these programs is important to support a steady and dynamic growth in our local economy as well as supporting our downtown culture with the Cook Street Realignment.

I would like to see enhancements to the way our community manages waste and composting especially the impact our current mismanagement has on wildlife and conservation. I would also like to see Council move forward with a comprehensive Fire Smart Program.

Our current fire hall facility is not up to Work Safe standards, and we have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for our firefighters. Getting approval for the borrowing is an important step in being able to access grants to support bringing down the cost to the taxpayer. I feel the recommendations of the Advisory Select Committee are well researched giving the community science-based information to make an informed decision in the upcoming referendum. Personally, I feel the information strongly supports that a yes vote is in the best interest of our community.

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