In a short time, I have proven that I can influence and work with the CVRD Board by creating consensus and support for initiatives important to Area B. I have the ability to communicate well with the community, one-on-one, and in large groups. My commitment is focused on the greater good of this community. The top three things this community wants are:
These are just a few of the issues we are dealing with locally, but when considering the greater good of the community they come up most often. We all want the same things. A safe and protected environment with economic viability creating a community in which our children and grow-up, find work and enjoy living here for generations to come.
As an active member of the Shawnigan community I divide my time between volunteering in school programs such as Fitness Friday, art classes, sports events and fundraisers. I enjoy meeting members of the community and engaging with individuals to understand their priorities.
There are a number of rallies, hikes, fundraisers, tours of SIA, Earth Day Celebrations, a Christmas party for our local volunteers and even a First Nations Pipe Ceremony which I have helped organize. The largest event that I organized in the last few years was the Blue Dot Walk at the Trestle; it attracted over 200 people and persuaded the CVRD Board to sign the Blue Dot Declaration.
I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting more of the community as we lead up to this September 30th by-election. Going door to door has solidified for me that the majority of us hold the same values. Concerns that are voiced most often include road safety, economic viability and water protection. Each stem from a love for this community.
I believe to be successful as an Area Director, one must focus on building community which requires the ability to lead, organize and build consensus since there is always more than one side to any issue. As Area Director, I have been connecting with groups like the Young Seniors Action Group (YSAG), South Cowichan Community Policing and the South Cowichan Arts Guild (SCAG) in an effort to understand their concerns so that I may connect them with like minded groups and individuals. In addition, I have been working with our Parks commissions, Advisory Planning Commission (APC), Trails Team, the Kerry Park and the Shawnigan Lake Community Centre Commissions.
By initiating conversations between our local business community, regional stake holders and Economic Cowichan we are able to share and leverage expertise and funding.
Share to me begs that questions: What kind of culture do we want? Can we slow down on the road so we are all safe? Can we work with the Ministry of Transportation to work within their guidelines and create the community we want? Can we create a culture that helps take care of our parks, our neighbours and each other? I think we can and it starts by sharing this place we call home and making one connection at a time. We have amazing volunteers who go beyond the call-of-duty, I hope you will join them: big or small it all adds up to a community culture that is priceless.
As a community, we fought hard to overturn the Ministry of Environment (MOE) permit for the contaminated soil dump. It's not over, but I continue to work with the Research Team and our MLA who are committed to having the contaminates removed. At the CVRD Board level, I have been successful in supporting and encouraging the Board to put Riparian Protection at the top of the Boards Strategic Plan for 2018. Furthermore, the soon to be submitted Soil Bylaw is a perfect example of our local commitment to protecting our streams and lakes.
When it comes to protecting our local tax payers, I believe fiscal prudence is imperative and it is sometimes necessary to remind the CVRD of its commitment to the taxpayers. There are three types of expenditures that impact our taxes: Type 1 is solely funded by Area B. Type 2 is funded by South Cowichan (Areas A, B, C, D, E). Type 3 is Regional (funded by all 9 electoral areas and 3 municipalities). However, whether local or regional, all decisions go through the 15 Directors that sit at the board and any changes require building consensus with the majority of the board members.
As the Director for Area B, I believe we should reduce taxes when and if it is appropriate. I have reviewed the list community functions and I welcome input from the community on services that are no longer required or where funding can be reduced. During the last 6 months, I have also taken every opportunity to question the CVRD on spending that effects Area B tax payers and will continue to do so through this upcoming budget season. The Area B Director is simply one seat at the board table, so building consensus and working relationships is crucial in getting the desired outcome. Budget season at the CVRD is starting now, so (if elected) I will use my next Community Meeting to gather input on the funding of local and regional services.
I believe the Heritage of Shawnigan is also worth protecting. We have an opportunity to build our regional brand by leveraging our community assets, sharing our trails, sharing the Kinsol Trestle, provincial parks, Mt. Baldy and Cobble Hill Mountain. Shawnigan is a beautiful place with a history worth protecting. For example, did you know there's a school house from 1893 waiting to be demolished? This is where the Area Director can be your voice. What do we want? Nothing is impossible... we can secure mountains for parkland, overturn provincial permits and protect what we love! Let's work together.