Town Council candidate Karen Unruh (Photo credit: Creston Valley Advance)

Town Council candidate – Karen Unruh (Incumbent)

Council works as a team, listening to all sides, and determining what is best for the community.

I have always been connected to Creston and I love it here. A beautiful retirement community and place to live but I felt little was happening to attract young people. When I returned “home” I felt a need to get involved in the direction Creston was taking and as a result, I successfully ran in the 2014 election. Previously, I served nine years as a Councillor/Director for the Town of Fort Nelson/Northern Rockies Regional District and over the years I’ve learned that there is no way to please everyone.

Council works as a team, listening to all sides, and determining what is best for the community. I am an independent thinker prepared to debate issues, make decisions and move forward. It takes creative, brave, hardworking individuals to keep things progressing and I am one of those people.

In the last four years, our community has continued to thrive. My handout outlines some of our many accomplishments. A real highlight was our award-winning Official Community Plan that involved thousands of discussions with residents to establish their vision for our Town.

Having a great interest in youth, I am excited about the many recreation based initiatives, trails, and parks. The park at the Recreation Center will feature our long-awaited Skate Park. These recreational community assets attract a younger demographic to our community and our valley. We are no longer just a retirement community. There is activity happening!

I want to express my concern over the Fire Hall Referendum. I was devastated when it failed. Part of the failure was the messaging. As a Council, we held open houses for a year with little interest – giving us a false impression that it was going to pass. After the failure, we put together the Community Fire Hall Advisory Select Committee, which was made up of dedicated citizens who met regularly to establish their recommendations. I am 100% in favour of a new Fire Hall. For the safety and wellbeing of staff and volunteers, we need to move forward on this important issue. This is a borrowing referendum only. The location, size, and building type will be all be decided by the Council of the Day.

In the next four years, I would like to see the completion of the Fire Hall (under budget) that our community will be proud of. The Citizen Budget Consultation Process will assist staff and Council during budget discussions.

Market Park, Highway 3 realignment, curbside recycling, Trails MasterPlan, Cemetery Master Plan, wayfinding and signage are just a few of the projects we currently have underway. Infrastructure needs to be continuously upgraded and maintained including roads, water, sewer, and wastewater drainage. Fiscal responsibility is paramount but as we move forward minimal tax increases should be maintained.

The most important issue facing the voter today is trust in their Council. They are elected to serve you and do the best for everyone that they can. I look forward to serving you for another four years.

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