Penny A.P. Anderson, Kevin Boehmer, Evelyn Bradford, Jen Comer, Arnold DeBoon, Jim Elford, Daniel Guerts, Lon Hansen, Myrna Johnson, Joe Snopek, Karen Unruh, Ed Vondracek and incumbent Joanna Wilson are running for Creston town council in the Nov. 15 municipal election.
What experience do you have that would make you an effective councillor?
I am deeply passionate and engaged in this community. For anyone who knows me personally, I have a lot of energy and a big smile to go along with any project I undertake.
Professionally, I have a broad understanding of the responsibilities of each level of government, and have developed an extensive network in the Creston Valley. Since managing the Creston Valley Farmers’ Market, we have been able to grow the market from a small summer market to a year-round social enterprise contributing $1.72 million to the local economy. I am a member of town’s Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP) advisory committee, which has been a precursor to the Official Community Plan that will happen during this next council’s term. I have also worked as a constituency assistant to our local MLA, and have experience working in the BC Public Service while living in Victoria.
I attended the University of Victoria and obtained a bachelor of arts degree with honours in geography. I focused my studies on sustainable community development, geographic information systems (computer mapping and statistical analysis) and local food systems planning. While attending UVic, I was elected as a student senator in my senior year.
What is your top priority for the next town council?
My three-pillar approach revolves around food, family and sustainability. Specifically, I want to ensure our community develops a strong Official Community Plan that will set the foundation for future economic growth, food security, housing and business opportunities, and other community priorities.
Should the Creston Valley have a single, locally managed form of government?
The vibrancy of the Creston Valley as a whole is dependent upon the success of the municipality. Whether you live in town or out of town, we all have a vested interest in how well the town itself does and we are impacted by the decisions of the municipal government.
That said, the question needs to be brought to the electorate and they need to be the ones whom ultimately decide.
How many council/committee meetings have you attended in 2014?
I attend a few council meetings every year in my capacity as farmers’ market manager to provide updates to council or to obtain council approval for market operations. I also regularly meet with town staff, and attend a variety of other meetings related to community planning.