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Choose your new City Council! Here are the candidates' answers.

Our outgoing Council, four years ago. Who will replace them? We get to decide.

NOTE: This item is still up because more voters may need to read it before the election. Candidates who responded (all but one) have answered nine questions.

This year, Rosslanders get to choose who will form our new City Council and shape Rossland for the next four years. Mayor Kathy Moore has been acclaimed, but we have six Council positions to fill, and twelve people willing to fill them.  It’s our choice, and it’s an important one.  Who will best be able to work together?

Rossland Rotary sponsored an All-Candidates Forum at the Miners Hall on October 2, and it was packed. The Rossland Telegraph is sponsoring a “BEER & BALLOTS” event in the Plewman Room at the Prestige Mountain Resort on October 10 – it’s an informal gathering, where people can mingle and chat with the candidates one-on-one.  The only cost to attend is to pay for any beverage you buy.

We’ve also sent all the candidates a set of nine questions.  Their answers are below, in completely random order – picked from a bowl, one at a time.  Their answers are not edited, except that I have bolded the answers, and one answer exceeded the word limit and was cut off after the limit was reached, as promised.

It’s a long read, but worth it – it’s not nearly as long as the Council packages that elected candidates will have to read for Council meetings!

I encourage readers to question candidates about anything in their answers that is unclear, or calls for more detail.  Here are the answers, by candidate:

STEWART SPOONER:

1.       What do you think is a municipal Council’s primary function? 

·         Council’s primary function is to provide direction to and oversight of the City’s fundamental (taxation, water, sewer, roads, zoning etc.) operations.

2.       If elected, what influence would you like to exert on Council as a whole? 

·         On the merit of the well-considered and clearly articulated perspectives I’ll provide, I’d like to be able to influence Council to ensure that decisions are grounded in the guidance provided by our OCP, and the evidence relevant to the issues being considered.

3.       What do you think are the four most important personal qualities for Council members? 

·         Showing up.

·         Seriousness of intent.

·         Empathy for those being impacted.

·         Openness to being convinced by evidence.

4.       Have you attended Council meetings during this term, or read “Council Matters” reports on the meetings?  If not, what are your sources of information about what Council has done? 

·         I’ve attended meetings, have read reports on most others, and regular discuss pertinent issues with community members, staff, councilors, and the Mayor.

5.       What do you think will be most important thing(s) for Council to do in this coming four-year term? 

·         Recreation and the Emcon Lot are issues that carry over from the previous Council, however if current trends continue, then housing affordability, rental availability, community gentrification, and development pressure on the character of the built environment and our natural setting will create significant challenges for the new Council to address.

6.       Are you willing and able to attend nearly all Council meetings, and to read the entire Council package in advance of each meeting, and to do any additional research needed for decisions, and to serve on other committees and attend their meetings as Council liaison?  

·         Yes.

7.       Did you attend, or read  the report on  the “Candidate Readiness Workshop” held in Castlegar’s Community Forum on August 27th?   Do you agree with the presenters’ points?  Explain. 

·         I didn’t attend this work-shop, however I agree with the presenter's points summarized in the report.  I’ve also  discussed the infrastructure maintenance under-funding issue at length with presenter Christina Benty on several occasions, and fully appreciate and support the need to continue  efforts to deal with the deficit we’ve inherited.

8.       What other reading or preparation have you done toward a role in municipal governance?  (This question is for all candidates, including those who have already served on Council.)  

·         I’ve been engaged in municipal political issues for the 28 years I’ve lived in Rossland, have discussed my candidacy with the Mayor and several sitting councilors, and draw upon my readings in the liberal humanist tradition for personal and political inspiration.

9.      Is there anything else that voters should know about your approach to civic governance, or your qualifications, that has not already been addressed in the questions above?  

·         There isn’t any one particular issue that motivates my candidacy, I just want and am determined to provide well considered, fiscally responsible, evidence based, community focused government.

 

SCOTT FORSYTHE:

1.     What do you think is a municipal Council’s primary function?

Council's primary function is to govern, by making decisions and setting policy that reflects the needs and wants of citizens.

2.     If elected, what influence would you like to exert on Council as a whole?

I would encourage council to remain open to new solutions throughout the decision making process. We need thorough research on all possible options to address issues. I'd also like to ensure that full cost analysis is done on all short list options before a decision is made.

3.      What do you think are the four most important personal qualities for Council members?

The four most important qualities I would bring to council are:

·       A strong ethical and moral compass -something I feel is essential for good governance, transparency, and accountability;

·       Critical thinking and research- required so that a council member is able to see collective solutions and make informed decisions.

·       Listening to others– this is the basis of leadership and consensus building and is necessary to be able to represent all constituents.

·       The ability to encourage civil discourse– discussion must respect the mayor, other councilors, and staff in order to have a properly functioning government.

4.     Have you attended Council meetings during this term, or read “Council Matters” reports on the meetings? If not, what are your sources of information about what Council has done?

Yes. I attended the September 4th and Sept ember 24th meetings after reading the associated Council Meeting packages.

5.     What do you think will be most important thing(s) for Council to do in this coming four-year term?

I think getting recreation planning and policy in place is the most pressing and visible issue at this time. The shared sewer project will likely be an important issue in the coming term. Revisiting the 10 year old Official Community Plan (OCP) will be important given the changes that are happening in Rossland.

6.     Are you willing and able to attend nearly all Council meetings, and to read the entire Council package in advance of each meeting, and to do any additional research needed for decisions, and to serve on other committees and attend their meetings as Council liaison?

Yes. I intend to be at most council meetings well prepared, and will do further research as needed. I look forward to working with other community groups, building on my current involvement. (Founded theChurch of Dirt trail building group, boards of Kootenay-Columbia Trail Society and Tourism Rossland, etc.)

7.     Did you attend, or read the report on the “Candidate Readiness Workshop” held in Castlegar’s Community Forum on August 27th? Do you agree with the presenters’ points? Explain.

Yes, I did attend the workshop, and appreciated the following points made by presenters in particular:

·       the difference between essential, expected, and discretionary services, and their priority to councilors

·       the primary role of council to set policies that ensure essential services now and in the future. These policies guide city staff.

·       the value of asset management, which is a long-term plan for replacing aging assets. This means starting now to set monies aside for costs years down the road. I agree with this idea and am glad that the current council has started the implementation of asset management. The presenters make the point that having an asset management plan means less management by crisis, something I think we can all agree is a good thing.

·       Expected and discretionary services require council to respond to community wants but still fit within the framework of fiscal responsibility and represents good value for cost.

8.     What other reading or preparation have you done toward a role in municipal governance? (This question is for all candidates, including those who have already served on Council.)

I have talked to the mayor and most of the councilors about their experience in the last 4 years, the time commitment needed, and the type of work required. I have attended most public meetings and participated in surveys in the last 6 years so that I am informed about these issues and concerns of Rossland. My council work would build on the other roles I have in the community, with the Kootenay-Columbia Trail Society, Rossland Tourism, the Rossland Acoustic Music Festival , the Church of Dirt and the Joe Hill coffee house.

9.     Is there anything else that voters should know about your approach to civic governance, or your qualifications, that has not already been addressed in the questions above?

The basics are good governance, transparency, accountability, and fiscal responsibility , while representing all constituents. Regardless of the issue, I will approach it from this position. I have no personal agenda beyond the fact that I love Rossland and want it to continue to thrive, and great as it is, will do what I can to make it even better.

 

DEKE BALEY:   [pronounced “Buh-LAY”]

1. What do you think is a municipal Council’s primary function?

Council’s function is to closely coordinate with city staff to understand the issues and planning strategies are being dealt with.  This would include listening to staff on what infrastructure and programs are required, direct staff on funding, implementation and review.  Council must also motivate the staff, ensuring they have the [50 words]

2. If elected, what influence would you like to exert on Council as a whole?

I would like to bring a feeling of compromise and open government to council.  This aligns with what my philosophies are, and I am a huge fan of communicating.  Listening to all sides, effectively communicating the issues and process, and eventually, the outcome.  An openness on council will, hopefully, create a trust and alleviate any misconceptions that can result, especially in our digital and social media worlds.

3. What do you think are the four most important personal qualities for Council members? [skipped]

 4. Have you attended Council meetings during this term, or read “Council Matters” reports on the meetings?  If not, what are your sources of information about what Council has done?

My previous work and travel schedule made it difficult to attend meetings, and I have not yet attended a Rossland city meeting.  I do subscribe and update myself through the newsletters and email briefs.  I have also met with some of the previous council to discuss ideas and Rossland as a whole. 

5. What do you think will be most important thing(s) for Council to do in this coming four-year term?

There is no secret over the past few years, we are seeing Rossland as a desirable place for many people and families.  I believe designing and implementing a strong growth and economic plan is integral to strong and sustainable growth for Rossland.  Ensuring adequate housing, recreation, business opportunities, infrastructure maintenance and renewal is important and having the framework allows staff, council, business owners and citizens to be prepared and create better plans for the future.  Having this framework also allows the plan to continue on and allows for everyone to adjust to outside influences, many of which are not in our control.  (eg. tis previous term saw a new federal government, minority provincial government and cannabis legalization as disruptors that were tough to plan for).  Being prepared and ready for growth, not just in the next four years, but beyond.

6. Are you willing and able to attend nearly all Council meetings, and to read the entire Council package in advance of each meeting, and to do any additional research needed for decisions, and to serve on other committees and attend their meetings as Council liaison?  

I am willing to attend all council meetings and am committed to the task that is a city councillor.  I am also looking forward to joining committees that I feel my background and passions would help in creating meaningful dialogue and results.

7. Did you attend, or read  the report on  the “Candidate Readiness Workshop” held in Castlegar’s Community Forum on August 27th?   Do you agree with the presenters’ points?  Explain. 

Unfortunately, a pressing last minute matter made me have to miss the workshop in Castlegar.  I had been looking forward to attending, but the timing was not to be.  I did read the article in the paper, as well as the Joy of Governing document that was the basis of the workshop.  About agreeing with the report and the philosophies of the presenters, I think anyone that knows me well realizes it would be a “heck yes” (probably even more emphatically).  The philosophies demonstrated in the report align almost identically to my outlook on business, community, politics, family, and life, the universe, and everything.  As I mentioned in the characteristics question, my thoughts on those are complementary to the philosophy on civic governance outlined.  With my thoughts on growth and economic strategies for Rossland, I was happy to see the chapters on asset management.  A comprehensive strategy is required and must be looked far beyond the term limits of elected council. Most importantly what I took from the report was the theme they used.  The laid back, sometimes humorous take on civic governance, to me, is priceless.  Rossland is our homes, our community.  Representing Rossland should be a proud and fun job to do.  Creating an open and human approach will go a long way to engagement, and results.

8. What other reading or preparation have you done toward a role in municipal governance?  (This question is for all candidates, including those who have already served on Council.)

I believe, probably similar to my fellow candidates, life in general , and the takeaways from that, are what drove them to run, and what we will mainly use to guide through the world of civic governance.  I have been heavily involved serving in the Chamber of Commerce world.  I believe this experience has not only helped shape my personal philosophies on business and local government, but has also allowed me to immerse myself into different industries, personalities in business and in local and provincial government, and the residents of smaller communities.  My career in business development, marketing, employee relations and growth strategies has also allowed me to deal a fair bit with local politicians, processes, and projects.  This broad spectrum of management and ownership has allowed me to experience many different and unique governing styles, from small centres, to large cities, to First Nation communities.  The experiences of different mindsets has helped me grow as a communicator and collaborator.  Through all that, I spend a lot of time reading (OK, its Audiobooks as I travelled a lot and can’t seem to get through a chapter without falling asleep with reading) leadership books, articles and social media posts.  I tend to stray from the traditional types and enjoy finding the leadership and motivational aspects in various genres, bringing an abstract approach to my management style and philosophy on life.

9. Is there anything else that voters should know about your approach to civic governance, or your qualifications, that has not already been addressed in the questions above?  

I believe I can sum up my approach to civic governance, as I do in most, if not all of my life.  I take it from my email tagline and “personal brand”  It reads:

Mentor | Motivator| Maverick| Connector| Cultivator of Ideas and Keeping it Real.

I believe this exemplifies good and solid leadership, and in turn, good governance.  I would maybe go one step further and state that good governance is not only good leadership, but is a collection of people that share these attributes and work alongside the staff, residents, fellow councilors and mayor, as well as regional partners.  There is a saying, “ideas become things”.  These ideas must come from a community as a whole, be collected, shared and perfected to create dynamic results, and a better community and region.  Having a group of “leaders” that understand their best resources are the people in the community and what they truly want from their community will allow for sustainable growth and ensure Rossland adapts and becomes the paradise we all call home.

 

CHRIS BOWMAN:

Q1

Asset Management, Fiscal Responsibility, Risk Management and Essential Services are all functions that council exists for, however the primary function of Council is to provide exceptional service to the Citizens and provide strategic direction and resources to City Administration. This is accomplished with the utmost care and consideration of Policy.

Q2

I see myself as a transformational leader, I believe that my proven successes in Management and Business combined with a complete understanding of the importance of service and teamwork will enhance our council. I am proud of my accomplishments as past President of Tourism Rossland and very excited to bring my experience to Council if elected. Once seated, I will continue to deliver the same service to our City and through research, patience and understanding will be in front of the many strong decisions that need to me made. Its always good to have fresh eyes and an open mind.

Q3

Honesty: Council members are honest and forthright with no fear in the truth.  Integrity: We must be trustworthy and deliver fair and non biased decisions based on fact. Excellent Communication Skills: The innate ability to listen and ask intelligent, pertinent questions is so important. Problem Solving Sills: Having the ability to break down an issue, work with the parts and assemble a solution to a problem will determine our mettle when appropriate.

Q4

I have attended Council meetings, I enjoy reading the “Council Matters” flyers and consistently keep myself informed on our City’s issues through the comprehensive City Website. We are fortunate to have many mediums to stay in touch with our City, and the information is always current.

Q5

4 years is not a long time, council will carry the torch from the existing council and assist in creating the path to even better service to our community. I would like to see more information come forth on development and re-zoning plans so council can make educated decisions, a revitalization of our Rossland Business Associations and continue to work on improving relationships with our neighbouring communities. However, we need to consider our resources and deal with existing issues first. There is no magic wand that will make everything rosy and there’s no crystal ball to see the future. We have a solid base to work from and the continuation of the good things that are being done now coupled with anticipation of greater things to come is what I am excited about. Vision, hard work and dedication to the task will get us there.

Q6

The short answer is yes…as with anything I am passionate about I feel the only way to really appreciate the experience is to be involved. The information received in our packages is vital to the purpose and integral to the process and Committees are a way to engage our community.

Q7

Absolutely I did, this was a fantastic opportunity to learn. The team at the workshop put together an easy, straight forward approach to each important position that council represents. The emphasis on teamwork was apparent and very inviting, the group delved into asset management, value to the Citizens, how important it is to keep service levels at their highest and what to do in times of crisis and emergency. There was emphasis on Budget, performing with limited resources and creating a sustainable local presence that succeeds to future generations. Honestly, I did not find one topic that was not useful and relative to our City. I believe we have a great platform to work from, the City staff work hard to ensure consistency in service with limited disruptions, our infrastructure is always improving and we are plugging less holes in our system than prior years. I see more families than ever in Rossland, we have a growing elderly population who is vibrant and healthy, our youth is growing up and shaping our future and although we sometimes don’t agree, we are all on the same team with common objectives. I look forward to bringing my own experiences to the table and help deliver the service and value we all deserve (and pay for).

Q8 & 9

Over the years I have spent some time researching municipal politics and will try to bring my energy and enthusiasm to learn to the table. My working life has had me in positions of influence which has allowed for experience in high level business, project management, development and marketing. I have worked with both the City and the Heritage Committee along with The Design Review Panel and City Services in the Development of Sourdough Alley and have been actively involved in re-shaping a good portion of our downtown core. Coupled with this, I spent 5 years with Tourism Rossland working in conjunction with The City and Council on developing our Resort Marketing initiatives, I learned much about both Municipal and Provincial Governance and together we worked on solidifying Rossland as an international destination. All accomplished through effective collaboration with both the Municipal and Provincial Government entities. Furthermore, I believe we have a solid Official Community Plan in place which is yearning for good champions to work with our various committees in defining the parameters and guidelines with respect to current trends. I feel strongly about my strengths and I look forward to serving my Community further with a seat on Council.

 

DIRK LEWIS:

1.       What do you think is a municipal Council’s primary function?

Council’s primary function is to prioritize where to allocate available funds; in a manner that accurately reflects the community that it serves. To achieve this goal, members listen to the community priorities and try to reflect those priorities in the direction Council takes.

2.       If elected, what influence would you like to exert on Council as a whole?

If I were to exert an influence on Council, I would like it to be a calm and thoughtful one. Coming to a decision in Council typically requires a methodical and well researched course. Rapid/split-second decisions are best reserved for removal of spiders from my wife’s vicinity.
 

3.       What do you think are the four most important personal qualities for Council members?

I feel that the four most important personal qualities for Council members are integrity, excellent communication, commitment, and diligence.

4.       Have you attended Council meetings during this term, or read “Council Matters” reports on the meetings?  If not, what are your sources of information about what Council has done?

I have not attended a council meeting in a while, but I regularly enjoy reading “Council Matters”. I also get regular, well rounded, and thorough updates from one particularly plugged in neighbour. You know who you are, and thank you.
 

5.       What do you think will be most important thing(s) for Council to do in this coming four-year term?

I think the most important thing for the city to do is continue with infrastructure upgrades. They aren’t fixing themselves, and typically become more expensive with delay. I would also be interested in revisiting the Strategic Sustainability Plan and maybe even the Official Community Plan. Other important issues to sort out would include the arena, the pool, the Emcon lot, and new city hall.
 

6.       Are you willing and able to attend nearly all Council meetings, and to read the entire Council package in advance of each meeting, and to do any additional research needed for decisions, and to serve on other committees and attend their meetings as Council liaison?

I am willing to attend all Council meetings and will endeavor to adjust my work schedule as required to accomplish that. This is a position that I am keen to embrace and will prepare accordingly. I would also like to participate in other committees as time permits.

7.       Did you attend, or read  the report on  the “Candidate Readiness Workshop” held in Castlegar’s Community Forum on August 27th?   Do you agree with the presenters’ points?  Explain.

I did attend the “Candidate Readiness Workshop” in Castlegar and have read both the follow-up article and the “Joy of Governing”, prepared by the presenters. I went in a position of learning. I did like the message that was presented and feel that it represented my ideas of how the Council of a local government should work.

The message that I took away was the notion that the costs of running a municipality are inevitable (and relatively high in small mountain towns) and the goal is less about constantly reducing the taxes and more about allocating the resources based as closely as possible on the needs/wishes of community members.

It’s difficult to agree or disagree with the presenters’ points, given that I was there to learn. Perhaps, with time and hindsight, I will have a better base upon which to agree or disagree.

8.       What other reading or preparation have you done toward a role in municipal governance?  (This question is for all candidates, including those who have already served on Council.)

To prepare, I have read past annual reports, kept up with Council Matters in the Telegraph, read the pool analysis document, skimmed the arena analysis document (it’s a long one!), and spoken at length with past and present members of council and a wide variety of locals. In terms of my general preparedness; I have either worked in, or worked as a consultant for, local government for the past 18 years. Working within local government (regional, in this case) gave me a window into the process; budgeting, human resources, administration, and operations. I know first-hand the pressures that local government employees face.

I also know the pressures, coming from Council through local governments, that are applied to all sorts of consulting services, and how this pressure ultimately results in diminished finished products. This range of relevant experience will help guide my decisions if I’m honoured with a place in this next Council.

 

9.       Is there anything else that voters should know about your approach to civic governance, or your qualifications, that has not already been addressed in the questions above?

I think the only things left out from the questions above are the bits about me. I’m a middle-aged dad with some pattern baldness raising a young family and running a small business in one of the best cities I know. All those things (minus the baldness) require creative solutions. From the business perspective; we have worked hard to adapt to the needs of our clients and our own drive to do things better. It has helped me with patience and planning. This experience will help shape my approach to civic governance.

Being part of a young family in this excellent mountain town has, more than ever, cemented the notion of sustainability. We want to be here for a long time, raising our family and enjoying what Rossland offers. This is what’s behind the drive to become more involved.

 

CAROL ENNS:

1.       The primary function of a municipal council is to provide city services and development through the administration of policies and bylaws with meaningful consideration of the interests, concerns and hopes of the cities residents.

2.   If elected as a city councillor I would like to promote a cohesive council environment where residents of Rossland can speak freely about how they want the city to develop. All persons need to feel as though their voice counts.

3.   The four most important qualities for Council members are:

* A passion for the city of Rossland. A belief that while working towards the needs of a growing community we can preserve the quality of our “small town life.”

* Being well informed. Interest and preparation are necessary in becoming a valuable part of council.

*A respectful approach in all interaction; listening skills and the ability to respond clearly with concise ideas.

*Most Importantly, being authentic

4.   I have attended council meetings in past years. Most recently I have learned about the councils accomplishments while networking with interested friends and visitors to our city .I enjoy listening to the radio and discussing the council news.

5.   I believe the next four years for Rossland will be a time of exciting growth and change. I feel it’s imperative that Rossland manages this growth while maintaining our small town roots .We have many new young families moving to town; the evolving needs of these families are foremost in my mind. Support to maintain the towns arena and swimming pool and all of the associated programs are the keys to the physical and mental health of a growing population. If we lose these facilities it could be difficult in the future to rebuild. Let’s work together to keep our vision of recreation for all and as a council set specific goals for preservation of these institutions.

6.   I am ready to prepare and attend all meetings. I am a motivated person who is also blind. This distinction presents challenges each day .I am currently researching and working towards obtaining the technology required to assist me in these duties. I believe our future takes vision not sight.

7.    I have not had the opportunity to attend the “Candidate Readiness Workshop” I am currently looking into acquiring the written document.

8.  My past work history includes many years working at Red Mountain as a professional ski patroller. During this time I was involved in the union bargaining committee where I gained insight into the process of negotiation. My involvement with this committee has provided me with the foundation for working with others towards common goals .I have been a homeowner in Rossland for over 30 years. My property is situated between the regional district and the city of Rossland; this has given me insight into land ownership issues in our municipality.

9.   I will be new to the process of civic governance. This is a challenge I am excited about and am ready to pursue. I have been passionate about how our city has developed and I am extremely interested in how the future looks for us all. I am particularly interested in housing affordability. I have had thoughtful discussions with others homeowners regarding topics such as zoning, Airbnb and affordable senior housing. Transportation is another topic on the forefront of residents’ minds. As our city develops and tourism grows, we have seen the addition of numerous new activities, services and accommodations. How do we help people to move around our city and surrounding area safely and affordably? These are the issues I am passionate about and if successful in my bid to become a Rossland City Councillor I am prepared to work hard for all of the residents towards our common goals.

 

RICHARD SOLTICE:

1)      A municipal Council’s primary function is to determine the priority of service delivery within a community, set policies for city staff and to act as stewards for a community’s assets. Council is the voice of the community and represents the interests of that community and its citizens.

2)      Because Council is tasked with making sound decisions based on factual information, it is assumed that this process best serves the interests of the community at large. I do not disagree with this, but would like to be in part the “conscience” of Council, ensuring that all council decisions are not dehumanized and that any decision reached takes into consideration the potential impact it might have on real people.

3)      Open-mindedness, curiosity, respect for the opinions of others and empathy are the four most important personal qualities for Council members. Hard-set opinions do not serve anyone well and being receptive to new thoughts, opinions and ideas can and often does lead to better understanding and better decisions. A council member, whose job it is to listen and evaluate, cannot function effectively without any of these attributes.

4)      While I have not attended Council meetings during this term I have read Council Matters and kept abreast of the issues through on-line news sources.  I have also read in its entirety, the Rossland OCP, which has been the guiding document for Council since its creation almost ten years ago.

5)      Rossland is facing many of the same issues that other small communities in B.C. and Canada are. Primary among those is the management of its assets, which in many cases have been neglected to a critical point. For several years  now Rossland has been moving forward with replacement of water and sewer systems and other critical asset replacement, guided to some degree by its OCP. Keeping this momentum going is critical, and money spent today is most certainly money saved tomorrow. The OCP sets a goal of creating a sustainable community by the year 2030, which to many might seem far off, but again, it is critical that this work be kept on schedule. The 2018 -2022 Council can and must follow through on this and forward thinking, environmentally committed members are of the utmost importance on our new council.

6)      I am committed to being the guy who shows up on time and is prepared for every meeting and who has spent the time to research the issues thoroughly. I also look forward to serving on other committees and attending their meetings as well.

7)      While I did not attend the Candidate Readiness Workshop due to other commitments , I have read the report, and as well “The Joy of Governing” published by its two presenters. The points made by Moss and Benty were enlightening, and spot on. Their emphasis on the qualities that a candidate should bring to the table, and the preparation and work that is needed to be an effective Councilor initially proved a bit overwhelming. But thoughtful self-reflection made me realize I have always been a hard-working individual and feel more than up to the tasks ahead. I do agree with most of their points, however, and intend to review them from time to time.

8)      I have done two things that I feel would aid me in a role in municipal government: first, I have read Rossland’s OCP and view it as a thoughtful, comprehensive document that is timely and forward thinking to a degree that surprised me. I am passionate about sustainability and have read extensively about so many of the challenges we are facing and the solutions that are ripe for implementation. To see this unfolding in my community is a revelation. So, unwittingly, I have spent years preparing for a role on this municipal government; second, I have talked to as many people as possible in Rossland since deciding to run and encouraged them to speak their minds about local issues they may feel strongly about. The conversations were informative and I intend not only bring their concerns to council, if elected, but to continue to have those conversations whenever possible.

9)      I love this community. I have put down my roots and raised my family here and can think of nowhere else I would rather be or live. I think of serving on council as my opportunity to bring the passion I feel for this community into a forum where it could be infectious, influential, and of great use, as I believe we need passionate leaders. And we need leaders with conviction, and conviction is what it will take for Rossland to continue moving toward its goal of sustainability. I believe in what we are doing here and there is no more powerful force for action than belief.  Perhaps over a four year tenure it will prove difficult to maintain my passion, but with every step taken forward, I believe it will be refreshed and recharged. I am a goal oriented individual and am always moving forward, and I think that will prove a valuable quality to bring to Rossland City Council.

 

FLETCHER QUINCE:

1.       What do you think is a municipal Council’s primary function?

Management and administration of civic programs, assets, and personnel through the setting of policy. In conjunction with governmental and regional partners, the development and implementation of strategic plans that ensure the long term sustainability of the community.

2.    If elected, what influence would you like to exert on Council as a whole?

Increased inclusion of public opinion in the decision making process. For a municipality of 3500 we have an incredibly engaged and capable population that is not only interested in contributing, but can bring significant capacity to bear on our most pressing issues, while identifying ones we are not even aware of yet. For me this isnt about surveys, or small task forces, this is about providing novel mechanisms that enable genuine engagement, and ideally a movement towards more representative forms of Direct Democracy.

3.       What do you think are the four most important personal qualities for Council members?

Integrity! Strategic Thinking in line with a proactive engagement and research focus. The ability to communicate effectively with specialist and non-specialist on issues of public concern. And, the use of leadership tools such as creative abrasion and innovative processes to facilitate the continual growth of a sustainable community.

4.       Have you attended Council meetings during this term, or read “Council Matters”reports on the meetings?  If not, what are your sources of information about what Council has done? 

Yes, on multiple occasions throughout the current term I have attended, provided public input and presented at local, and regional council meetings. If unable to attend, and I am keen to know certain decisions I find Council Matters an effective mechanism given the lag in the posting of council minutes.

5. What do you think will be most important thing(s) for Council to do in this coming four-year term?

In relation to asset management, the big one is going to be upgrading our Regional Liquid Waste Management facilities. Upgrading these facilities could cost as much as $60 Million, with Rossland potentially being responsible for approximately 20% of this cost (i.e., $12 Million). Naturally, the outcome of the referendum on ownership of the sewer collection system will impact these discussion from the outset.

In terms of soft services, a major consideration will be finding and maintaining funding for services like recreation, and affordable housing in light of recent and ongoing city expenditures. As such, addressing the ongoing concerns surrounding the Trail Residency Program and the impact this has on Rosslandersuse of regional facilities will be an important topic that needs to be resolved with our regional partners. Thus, building and maintaining strong, and mutually beneficial, relationships with our regional partners will be key over the next 4 years.

6.       Are you willing and able to attend nearly all Council meetings, and to read the entire Council package in advance of each meeting, and to do any additional research needed for decisions, and to serve on other committees and attend their meetings as Council liaison? 

Absolutely! Alongside being capable, these reflect the core obligations of anyone accepting a council, or mayoral, position. While lifes uncertainty, and associated requirements, may impact an individuals ability to temporarily fulfill their commitments, effective time management and forethought should enable any diligent councillor to engage to their fullest.

7.       Did you attend, or read  the report on  the “Candidate Readiness Workshop”held in Castlegar’s Community Forum on August 27th?   Do you agree with the presenters’points?  Explain.

Alongside reading the report in the Telegraph, I have spent considerable time studying the Joy of Governingguide written by the presenters. Through the provision of a variety of meaningful and well considered points on what optimal governance should look like, this guide provides an entertaining and encompassing reference manual for some of the challenges elected officials will face during a term in office.

Of primary importance is the notion of the greater community context. Who is being governed? What is the state of affairs in the community? What work has been done? and, strategically, where are we, or better yet, where do we want to be, heading? Obtaining meaningful answers to these sorts of questions are imperative, and I anticipate doing so to reflect one of the biggest time costs associated with starting into the job of councillor.

Another important point is how appreciating the built and natural environments that serve as the assets of our community provide a basis for the effective management of these assets in a diligent and responsible manner. In striving towards the goal of optimal governance, a crucial distinction is repeated throughout this guide about the necessary separation between the functions of staff and council; something those who have served on the board of a well run organization are fully aware of.

8.       What other reading or preparation have you done toward a role in municipal governance?  (This question is for all candidates, including those who have already served on Council.)

Since 2009 I have been continually involved with a series of Non-profit, and community governance organizations within Rossland and the Region. In addition to a series of smaller roles, I have served as the Vice-President of the Great Trail Community Skills Centre, and as an advocate and representative of business in Rossland through my role as a director for the Lower Columbia Community Development Team. As a member of the Executive of this multi-stakeholder governance board I have been provided with a unique opportunity to engage with regional organizations and contribute directly in the establishment of development initiatives within the Lower Columbia Region. A highlight of which was hosting An IncrEdible Thanksgivingwhich showcased the products of local meat, vegetable, and wine producers at the Old Firehall in 2015. 

In 2016, I served as Chair of the Fire and Emergency Services Review Task Force for the City of Rossland. This role provided the opportunity to lead engagement with various community members, and conduct an in-depth analysis of the current state of fire suppression and emergency response in Rossland by the Regional District of Kootenay Boundarys Fire Rescue service. A written report and in camera presentation to Rossland City Council addressed the current and future challenges of cost effective delivery of fire suppression services in Rossland in line with its continued growth.

9.       Is there anything else that voters should know about your approach to civic governance, or your qualifications, that has not already been addressed in the questions above? 

Starting in 2009 I have been continually engaged in the restoration and tenancy of the Historic Bank of Montreal Building in Rossland; an opportunity that has provided me with a unique opportunity to work alongside, and familiarize myself with each of the municipal departments within the City of Rossland. This experience has provided me with an informed perspective on the challenges, and rewards, of operating a business in this community. With 15 current tenants (ranging from sole-proprietors and Non-profits to larger corporate entities) my daily experience consists of engaging with a microcosm of life in Rossland. 

Prior to moving to Rossland in 2009, I completed an undergraduate degree in Neuropsychology, and a Masters Degree at the University of Toronto dealing with the development and evaluation of complex emergency management organizations; graduate work stemming directly from my time working as a Research Scientist and Incident Commander for Albertas Wildfire Management Branch.

My interest in, and approach to civic governance, therefore, stems directly from an academic background associated with the way decision makers make informed, and meaningful decisions in relation to complex general systems, and the use of data driven processes in augmenting and evaluating these decisions.

 

JANICE NIGHTINGALE:

10.   What do you think is a municipal Council’s primary function?

I believe that Council’s primary function is to support the current and future quality of life and opportunities for all the members of the community.  Council should also provide vocal and active support for community groups working to improve and expand the city’s attractiveness and viability.

11.   If elected, what influence would you like to exert on Council as a whole?

I would like to influence council to make decisions based on comprehensive, robust information in a balanced manner.  I would like to expand council’s thinking about each decision to consider the overall “big picture” of what we need to maintain the quality of our community, and how we see our community developing and changing over the next 5, 10, and 20+ years.  I would encourage council to ask questions and explore creative solutions.  I would ask council to apply similar decision-making criteria to every decision, and to always remember that every decision made is important to someone in the community.

12.   What do you think are the four most important personal qualities for Council members?

1)      The ability to absorb and apply information over a broad range of decisions in a cohesive manner.

2)      The ability to change their minds when presented with new information.

3)      The ability to accept the value of other’s opinions, even if they don’t agree.

4)      The ability to visualize future goals for our community, and develop a road map to get there.

13.   Have you attended Council meetings during this term, or read “Council Matters” reports on the meetings?  If not, what are your sources of information about what Council has done?  

I have attended and presented at numerous council meetings, and read council agendas and media reports on council meeting outcomes.

14.   What do you think will be most important thing(s) for Council to do in this coming four-year term?

I think the most important thing for council to focus on in the next 4 years is how to manage our growth and to determine an overall vision of what our community may become in the next 20+ years, and then use that vision to create priorities and influence decisions.  Creating a 20-year plan will help council to make strategic and forward-thinking decisions instead of making reactive decisions in haste, by putting decisions in the perspective of building for the future.  The Asset Management Plan helps council to manage future infrastructure costs and budgets, but a long-term vision of the social goals of our community will help to ensure that Rossland retains its unique character, and is as attractive to its residents, and as successful in attracting and retaining those residents, in 20 or 50 years as it is now.

15.   Are you willing and able to attend nearly all Council meetings, and to read the entire Council package in advance of each meeting, and to do any additional research needed for decisions, and to serve on other committees and attend their meetings as Council liaison?   

Yes!

16.   Did you attend, or read  the report on  the “Candidate Readiness Workshop” held in Castlegar’s Community Forum on August 27th?   Do you agree with the presenters’ points?  Explain.

I read the “Joy of Governing”, the document authored by the presenters at the Candidates Readiness Workshop.  I found it enlightening, and agree whole heartedly that municipal council’s responsibility is to facilitate the provision of services to their community on behalf of senior levels of government.  I also agree that there are issues that are not the municipal governments responsibility, and while members of council can advocate on their community’s behalf with higher levels of government to resolve those issues, or work on informing and educating the members of our community, we should not attempt to “bite off more than we can chew”, and create an onerous burden socially, culturally or fiscally for our citizens.

17.   What other reading or preparation have you done toward a role in municipal governance?  (This question is for all candidates, including those who have already served on Council.)

In 2016 I went looking for information regarding Rossland’s growth and cost of living (primarily property taxation) in response to the City’s Public Budget Presentation, and several follow up Committee of the Whole meetings that painted a grim picture of Rossland’s situation.  After hearing that “we aren’t growing, people are moving away, our taxes are too high, and we’re not competitive”, I delved into the B.C Local Government Data website, and additional information from the B.C Assessment Authority and found that in fact, the very opposite was true.  From that information, I created and presented a Municipal Comparative study to Council, city Staff, and other interested groups, that measured Rossland against 41 other communities geographically and compositionally similar, and the other communities in the Resort Municipality Initiative.  I followed that study with additional research using information from the 2016 Census intake to measure demographics, income, population and housing inventory, which I also provided to council and other interested groups.  A very steep learning curve!  The results of my study certainly highlighted the importance of having comprehensive, accurate information on which to base decisions.

Additionally, I have worked to educate myself on our budget and infrastructure issues by attending council and budget meetings, and asking staff and council lots of questions.  I feel that this work has given me a firm footing to understand the operation and comparative position of Rossland, but I expect that I have many more things to learn, which I am very much looking forward to.

18.   Is there anything else that voters should know about your approach to civic governance, or your qualifications, that has not already been addressed in the questions above?  

According to the 2016 Census, 82% of Rosslands “dwellings” are occupied by regular residents, full time owners or renters.  70% of the homeowners (2017) in Rossland claim their Home Owner Grant, indicating that those owners consider Rossland their primary residence.  These numbers reaffirm that Rossland is a community. 

Rossland has an incredibly diverse group of residents, and it is my belief that “Diversity provides Resilience”, so I will look to continue to attract and support a diverse group of citizens, businesses and opportunities for all Rosslanders.

 My focus will be on making decisions that most benefit those who have chosen to make Rossland their home, rather than the visitors who are attracted by our amazing resort partners.  Of course, so many of those visitors come for the recreational amenities, and stay for the community, so it will be important to continue supporting our resort partners and other groups, businesses and individuals who help to attract and retain our citizens. I understand that our local businesses who have chosen to locate in Rossland are valuable members of the community.  

I do not believe that municipal governments should be “run like a business”, however there are some best practices to be borrowed from the business world.  I believe that municipal governance’s guiding principles should be more of a social contract, where the members of our community work together cooperatively to create a better life for all.  I hope that I will get the opportunity to help my community do that.

 

ANDY MOREL:

1) Primary role of Council: 

Determine and support  the strategic short and long term goals for the operational sustainability of Rossland’s primary infrastructure including: roads, water, sewer,  and community owned buildings. Provide direction and oversight through Senior Staff to see that strategic goals are carried out.

2) Influence on Council: 

Continued support for strategic infrastructure upgrades/projects that ensure the long term viability of resident’s most basic needs - water, sewer, roads. “Green” initiatives that support non-motorized access throughout Rossland-  safe sidewalks and trail systems. Ensure that environmental impacts of all operations is minimized through my own values lens of sustainability - healthy ecosystems/ environment = healthy community and residents within.

3) Four most important personal qualities for council members:

Integrity/ honesty to the responsibility to serve all of Rossland citizens.  Listening and respect for all council members opinions and backgrounds in support of the democratic process at the council table. Diligence/ responsibility to reading, researching and understanding topics at hand.  Support/ listen and respect  to all citizen concerns and opinions. Realize you are part of a team working for common goals of the  community. 

4)   Council Meeting Attendance: 

As an incumbent councillor, I read  all of the weekly information  pkgs, and Regular, In Camera and Special Meeting packages. I also sat on two boards as Council liaison - Rossland Public Library and Lower Columbia  Community Development Team Society. Each required attending monthly meetings and reviewing related materials and agendas along with verbal reports back to Rossland Council.

5) Important Council Priorities for next 4 years:

Infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure - the most pressing issue for communities of all sizes, not excluding Rossland. The completion of our Asset Management Plan through staff and engineering to continue to create important shovel ready projects including budgeting and submitting timely grant applications is imperative to our future sustainability. Other priorities -  the upgraded water treatment plant at Waneta, development of the former Emcon lands with a potential mix of commercial and lower income/ seasonal rental residential development, a City Hall building strategy, completing the Community recreation facility assessment, OCP planning review. All these priorities being measured with the affordability index as a Rossland resident/ taxpayer.

6) Candidate Readiness Workshop

I was away and not able to attend the workshop unfortunately however, I have read numerous publications of Christina Benty's - "The Joy of Governing (Your how-to guide to optimal governance)" and adhere to the "Candidate Checklist" as much as I can - still growing...

As well, I have attended Christina’s New Councillor Conference/workshop and numerous conference presentations.

7) Further preparation material/resources for Municipal governance.

Attendance at numerous municipal conferences both regional and provincial. Established networking opportunities.  For next term, I would like to pursue some training through Local Government Management Association of BC. Some excellent courses in leadership and governance development/ improvement.

8) Other experience/ qualifications and approach to Governance.

Completing my first 4 year term as Councillor for Rossland. A willingness to continue learning, a diploma in Recreation Leadership, experience in administrative/ leadership roles/ volunteer in a number of community organizations - 20 years in Rossland in 2018.  Election/ governance experience as a previous Federal and Provincial  elections candidate - 2008/ 09. Previous public management employment experience in hospital administration, Ontario.

 

JOHN GREENE:

1         What do you think is a municipal Council’s primary function?

The municipal council’s primary function is to be the governing body of the municipal corporation and the custodian of its powers, both legislative and administrative.

2         If elected, what influence would you like to exert on Council as a whole?

I would like to help all councillors to work together to be responsible and productive.

3         What do you think are the four most important personal qualities for Council members?

Honesty, Impartiality, Thoughtfulness and Work ethic not necessarily in that order.

4       Have you attended Council meetings during this term, or read “Council Matters” reports on the meetings?  If not, what are your sources of information about what Council has done?

I attended all but one meeting and read every Council Matters

5         What do you think will be most important thing(s) for Council to do in this coming four-year term?

Listen to citizens concerns and address them impartially

6         Are you willing and able to attend nearly all Council meetings, and to read the entire Council package in advance of each meeting, and to do any additional research needed for decisions, and to serve on other committees and attend their meetings as Council liaison?

Yes.  The only meetings I miss are ones I can’t attend because I’m out of Town.  I usually devote the entire day of a meeting to research.  In this term I have served on the Heritage Commission and the Design Review Board.

7         Did you attend, or read  the report on the “Candidate Readiness Workshop” held in Castlegar’s Community Forum on August 27th?   Do you agree with the presenters’ points?  Explain.

No. I was unable to attend as I had a prior commitment

8         What other reading or preparation have you done toward a role in municipal governance?  (This question is for all candidates, including those who have already served on Council.)

I attended a 2 day newly elected councillor orientation sessionin the fall of 2014 and I attended an intense 2 day  workshop on our Asset Management Plan moderated by Jennifer Ellis.  I have attended 2 Union of B C Municipality Conferences

9         Is there anything else that voters should know about your approach to civic governance, or your qualifications, that has not already been addressed in the questions above?

I believe that giving back to the community .  A good example of this is the Piano in the Park. It’s been my baby for three years.  When I heard about it, I thought what a great idea so with out any permission, I found a piano someone wanted to get rid of, had it tuned, had it painted and put it in             the park.  I call it a “random act of art” and I’m amazed at the response I’ve had.  People love it.  I’ve also served on the Board of Directors for the Chamber of Commerce, the Rossland Museum and the  Rossland Light Opera Players.

 

John Lake sent no responses to the questions, and Andrew Zwicker has had to withdraw from candidacy, although his name will still be on the ballot – he begs voters  NOT to vote for him.

And I just beg everyone who is eligible to vote to find out about all the candidates and then VOTE for the six that you think will be best able to work effectively together!