by Nelson Daily staff on May 13 2013
by Adrian Barnes on May 13 2013
Advanced polling turn-out mirrors 2009 numbers in Kootenay West/ Kootenay East boasts better numbersby Kyra Hoggan on May 13 2013
by Nelson Daily Sports on May 13 2013
Slocan Valley Vendettas knock off Salmo to register inaugural victory; Rossland/Trail too hot to handle for Castlegar Dam Cityby Nelson Daily Sports on May 13 2013
by Kyra Hoggan on Monday May 20 2013
by John King on Thursday May 16 2013
by Kyra Hoggan on Wednesday May 15 2013
by Andre Carrel on Tuesday May 14 2013
by Charles Jeanes on Tuesday May 14 2013
Candidate profile: Laurie Charlton
I’m running for Council because I care about Rossland. I want to continue to make sure that things are done correctly and fairly to protect the interests of all residents and taxpayers.
I grew up in Warfield and graduated from J. Lloyd Crowe High School in Trail. I moved to Rossland about 40 years ago after graduating from university with a PhD in chemistry. I worked at Cominco as a research chemist and as Quality Assurance Manager. I was also Manager of Toxco Waste Management for several years. I’m a 70 years young retiree who enjoys skiing, hiking and camping, gardening, and duplicate bridge.
Shortly after arriving in Rossland, I was invited to join the Neighbourhood Improvement Program Committee. That committee accomplished many things, including having all the overhead wires removed from Columbia Ave. leaving us with the spectacular views we enjoy today.
Since then, I’ve been continuously involved in community affairs including 17 years as a Councillor, 2 years as a Director for the RDKB, and a member of the Advisory Planning Committee when not on council. I was a Director and Vice President of the Red Mountain Ski Club Society and a Director of the Kootenay Mountaineering Club. I was chair of the RDKB Solid Waste Management Advisory Committee and a member and chair of the RDKB Economic Development Commission. I’ve been a director for the Rossland Museum Society and am the founder and President of the Heritage Federation of South-Eastern BC and a member of the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance. I’m actively involved in provincial and federal politics as Financial Agent for the NDP.
All that involvement has given me a great deal of experience, knowledge and understanding of the issues involved in running the City and contributing to the community which I would like to continue to use to serve our citizens.
Rossland’s biggest issue is the high level of taxation. I would like to see Rossland on a sound financial footing so those taxes can be lowered. According to BC government statistics, Rossland had the twelfth highest per capita tax rate in the province in 2008. In 2011 we were ninth highest. That's a direct result of the budgets approved by the current Council. With the impending expenditures on the Columbia/Washington project and upgrades to the regional sewer system, that per capita cost will rise significantly unless unnecessary spending is reined in.
Capital projects should be focused on upgrades of our essential services. Citizens must be given a direct opportunity, through referendum, to decide whether major projects should proceed rather than using the "alternative process" for elector approval as was done for the $6 million Columbia/Washington loan authorization bylaw.
Development efforts should be focused on in-fill in the core of the City where services and infrastructure already exist. We must avoid more rural sprawl. Expansion of the tax base could be beneficial if it did not result in additional costs to maintain added infrastructure. A comparison of incremental revenues and expenses resulting from the development that has taken place in the last few years shows a significant net cost to the City. Those additional costs reflect themselves in the extremely high, and rising, per capita tax levels that exist in Rossland.
We should work to provide affordable housing options, particularly within easy walking distance of the centre of town. I think the City should be looking at using some of it’s properties in the downtown area to construct, in partnership with other agencies, affordable housing for seniors. I do not believe that $300,000+ condos represent "affordable" housing options for most people.
During the 1980's, significantly more development occurred in Rossland than is happening now. There were four people working in City Hall at that time. Now we have eleven. We should look at reductions in management staff by sharing services with our neighbours, such as the planning, building inspection, and emergency preparedness functions. In the long term, amalgamation of all local communities could result in decreased costs by eliminating duplicate services.
Young families need good paying jobs. Without jobs there will be little to attract newcomers to town other than a season of skiing or biking. We must work with our neighbours to attract high value-added businesses and industries to create those jobs. Even though it would be nice to locate some industries in Rossland, practical considerations suggest that a location in the valley makes more sense. However, people working for those businesses are likely to choose Rossland as their home for many of the same reasons we’re all here.
Teck is the cornerstone of our local economy. They are already involved with businesses (5N Plus and KC Recycling for example) that integrate with their operations. Teck produces many materials that may be useful for establishing other secondary industries in the area that could export their products to the USA. We must work with our neighbours to encourage more such businesses.
Many businesses would benefit from improved transportation routes into the USA. We must continue working to create an efficient low elevation highway into the US. Building that route will not only result in increased job potential in this area but also result in a significant reduction in heavy truck traffic through Rossland.
We have a flourishing health services sector whose location continues to be threatened by a move to another community. Rossland offers an opportunity to attract specialized medical services to space already available in the former Mater Miseracordiae hospital.
I would like to continue to work on these ideas and others on your behalf. I hope I can count on your support in the upcoming election. Please make sure you vote on November 19th.
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