Derek Meerdink is running for mayor of Telkwa in the 2022 municipal election. (Village of Telkwa photo)

In their own words: Derek Meerdink

For Telkwa mayor

To kick off our municipal election coverage, The Interior News asked all the candidates to prepare a 250-word submission that answered the following questions:

1. What is the most pressing issue facing your municipality?

2. As mayor/councillor, what do you intend to do to address that issue?

3. What is it about your background, experience, knowledge and/or personality you believe makes you qualified/suitable to be successful in the position you are seeking?

Hi, my name is Derek Meerdink, I’ve lived in Telkwa most of my life.

For the last 30 years I have operated as Midvalley Concrete. The last 15 years my wife Janneh and I have been building, buying and renting houses.

While speaking to the residents of Telkwa there are several concerns that continue to come up. First is the high cost of our property taxes paid to the Smithers pool that most people don’t use but are obligated to pay.

This should be a pay per use facility. We have increasingly higher transportation costs, a lack of businesses to support it and are just at a disadvantage altogether to use it especially when there are similar if not better options vying for our dollar. Funds saved could go to supporting our own recreational needs or fixing our infrastructure. I along with council are advocating to get our bridge replaced with one that will go over the train tracks allowing for better access to that part of the village.

As mayor I will continue to pressure the MOTI, CN, Telkwa Coal and Municipal Affairs to get this project going. Third, I support a community watch program with crime being on the increase in our neighborhoods.

Having lived in this community for 44 years and spending time on council (currently as acting mayor) I’m aware of the needs of the community. I’m heavily invested in Telkwa financially and emotionally. Moving forward is making sensible and responsible decisions.

Election 2022