Telkwans will go to the polls Feb. 27 to select a new councillor to replace Rick Fuerst who stepped down in September citing work conflicts.
Voters will have a choice between three candidates, Klaus Kraft, Dave Livesey and Erik Jacobsen.
The Interior News asked the candidates to provide a short bio and answer three questions.
The questions were:
1. What is/are the most pressing issue(s) facing Telkwa?
2. As a councillor, how would you propose to address that issue or those issues.
3. What is it about your background, experience, knowledge and/or personality you believe makes you qualified/suitable for the role of councillor.
We asked the candidates to keep their combined submission to 600 words, which they all did.
The submissions are unedited save for some very minor adjustments for conformance with the Canadian Press Stylebook.
They are presented in alpabetical order.
I am finding it extremely fortunate to live in the Village of Telkwa. When I first arrived, the outside staff consisted of two.
I was appointed to council in 2005. The old municipal building was the old fire hall. When we attended council meetings in the wintertime, we must wear our coats to keep warm because the heating system was very inadequate.
Today it has all changed. We are fortunate to have excellent office staff in the newly renovated old milk plant.
We have a fantastic outside crew, keeping our village well maintained, grass mowed before weekends, and our roads kept passable with the snow removal.
I have been asked to express what I like to see changed and what I will do about it.
As I look around, I think we are doing quite well for a small community. To express what I disapprove of, I find it challenging to think of anything, except for the barking, and in one instance vicious dogs, in my neighbourhood and some unsightly properties, are items I’d like to address.
The former president Ronald Reagan kept a plaque on his desk saying: “There’s no limit to what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.” I believe we all have a responsibility to keep the Village of Telkwa to its most significant potential, so let us all do our part as a team.
REASONS FOR RUNNING
I have lived in Telkwa for almost twenty years and like to be involved.
I have now retired from my gardening service.
I now have the time necessary to serve our community, with the many hours I know it requires each week.
When I was on council in 2005, I also participated in several courses related to parliamentary procedures. I am therefore experienced in the methods of being a member of council.
I do not have any specific “platform,” but I will be making myself available to the Village of Telkwa’s residents to do the best I know, and I also depend on this great community to keep me updated with their concerns, in person, by phone or by email.
When I moved from Victoria in 2001, I purchased my present home in Telkwa.
I was elected to council in 2005. In the following three years, I served on the transit committee and encouraged BC Transit to make extra buses available, as we only had one. I helped to get more trips available between Smithers and Telkwa. I was instrumental in getting the two bus shelters installed in Telkwa.
I was involved in asking for a provincial grant for the new water tower.
I encouraged the Department of Highways to widen the highway to Smithers, allowing for a bicycle path, making it safer to travel.
I met with the Department of Highways regarding the construction of the highway underpass.
I helped apply for the grant for the project installing the riprap to reduce erosion along the Buckley River, making it possible for more homes to be built.
I have been the president of Telkwa Seniors Society for three consecutive years.
I have been an active member of the Telkwa Museum for fifteen years, also maintaining the gardening areas around the museum building and the St. Stephen’s Anglican Church.
My knowledge and personality make me qualified and suitable for the councillor’s role. Firstly, I am a people person who loves to interact with the public.
Secondly, my experience as the owner of my gardening business for fifty years.
Thirdly, I consider myself a self-motivated person who likes to get things done in an orderly fashion.
Finally, my experience, been a councillor in 2005 – 2008.
– High school graduate
– I am 74 years old and have lived in Telkwa with my partner for the last 21 years.
– I am the President of the Smithers Curling Center (curling has been a passion of mine since my early teens).
– Currently, I am an elected executive board member of Local 258 of the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers headquartered in Langley BC).
– Worked in the Electrical Utility Sector for Manitoba Hydro (1966 to 1972) and for BC Hydro (1972 to 2015) as a Lineman (now called Power Line Technician to be politically correct).
– Was the crew lead for BC Hydro Line Dept. in Smithers until retirement in 2015.
– Love fishing , camping , gardening, curling, cross country skiing, travelling and exploring in our province and Canada, and spending time at home with my wonderful life partner Sylvia, and being a grandpa to two great grandsons (unfortunately I don’t get to see them very often because they live in Alberta and because of COVID restrictions).
REASON FOR RUNNING
The time felt right to exercise my civic duty and let my name stand as a candidate for the vacant position of councillor for the Feb byelection for Telkwa. I’ve always been somewhat interested in local politics wherever I have lived.
I am pleased to see that there are two other candidates for the position because I believe elections are a healthy part of politics.
I believe that my background as an executive board member of Local 258 IBEW; president of the Smithers Curling Center; and as a retired crew lead has given me the tools to position me well for the role of councillor in Telkwa.
I think the first hurdle will be to get elected and there will then be a steep learning curve encountered by the successful candidate.
It will take some time to learn who the other players are on council and also what pressing issues are in front of council. Until you know, it will be hard to address these issues until you are more familiar with them. Probably even more difficult in our current COVID-19 pandemic situation.
I am interested in motivating our younger generation to get involved in civic politics. We need to listen, learn, and get their perspective on issues that concern them in Telkwa.
I do not have a personal agenda, but I will work hard for the community of Telkwa if elected.
The mountains attracted me to B.C. following university in 1992.
After failing to get a suntan after six years in the Okanagan, I moved to the Bulkley Valley in 1998 to get back to the small town living I enjoyed early in life. I bought a place in Telkwa in 2004.
I added to my education with a year of forestry and a few months of carpentry at the local college, where I encountered some of the best instructors I have ever had.
I have had the pleasure of working in some of the most beautiful forests in the world, and have ripped apart some pretty rotten old buildings and rebuilt them into something attractive and functional.
I got married and got two children in the bargain, and now have a granddaughter.
I learned how to play drums, with other people!
Basically, moving here has been the best choice I ever made, and now I would like to help keep this a place where families can safely make a home.
REASONS FOR RUNNING
I think the most pressing issue for Telkwa is, and will continue to be for a long time, sufficient and affordable housing. There is a need for more family homes, more small houses, more seniors units, and more rental units.
This is a province-wide problem, and won’t be solved by working alone. It will take co-ordination between all levels of government, community groups, and the development industry.
I am willing to help bring together and work with all of these groups. I am a very resourceful person and am able to present new ideas, and am open to considering the new ideas of others.
As a member of council, I will encourage proposals that work towards expanding the housing options for seniors, families, and persons with disabilities.
The village has commissioned two major housing needs studies in the last decade, one in 2011 and one in 2020. Both of these studies provide direction for solving housing problems and, as a councillor, I would make use of these professionally-produced documents and make sure they are not ignored in favour of random development.
The Village’s plans and policies are described as being changeable, living documents, and I will definitely be ready to suggest changes as needed.
I have worked in a wide variety of jobs (jack of all trades, really) with a large cross-section of kinds of people. This has given me knowledge and insight into many things which are part of being a councillor, such as experience in home-building and its bylaw requirements, experience with people with special needs and their housing requirements, and jobs in the forest sector to give me an understanding of local industry’s needs.
As a member of the local musical community, I am familiar with the need for opportunities to access local venues, and the necessity to work together with host communities for larger shows and festivals.
I am an outgoing and enthusiastic member of society and can therefore work effectively with the existing council as a team whose goal it is to improve all of our lives.