John Buikema

Smithers election: John Buikema

Council candidate John Buikema’s answers on a variety of topics.

My family moved from Winnipeg to the Bulkley Valley in 1999, a move that allowed me to become the principal of Bulkley Valley Christian School. I have been a teacher and/or school administrator for 31 years. For the last 3 years, I have been employed at Todd Larson & Associates, an accounting firm in Smithers. I’ve been on the Smithers Library Board the last 2 years. Approximately 5 years ago, I had opportunity to volunteer at Broadway Shelter and also worked there for a summer doing some vacation relief. I have frequently held leadership positions at Smithers Christian Reformed Church. My political experience is limited, but I believe that I’ve had a wide variety of life experiences.

Serving on Town Council is something that has appealed to me for a number of years, but now I’m in a season of life where I can pursue this “dream”. I have attended a number of Town Council meetings in the last year, and find it fascinating to see the wide variety of issues that “cross the council table”.

If I were to be elected to Town Council, a few of my priorities would be:

1. To work at making the Library/Art Gallery Project a reality: I love the idea of a collaborative project between the Art Gallery and the Library because both organizations have limited facilities at the present time. The proposed plans for a new building would greatly enhance the services they can offer to our community, it would revitalize the end of Main Street, and it could serve as a wonderful center for community life.

2. To increase dialogue with the local business community: In speaking with some members of the local business community, I sense occasional frustration with Council decisions and with the level of red tape. Perhaps, increased communication can address some of these concerns.

3. To keep taxes at affordable levels: Taxes are crucial to the functioning of our town. However, it is the duty of Council to ensure that public funds are spent as carefully as possible so that unnecessary burdens are not placed on local taxpayers. The challenge is to try to spend public money as if it were your own.

4. To maintain basic infrastructure, and where possible enhance it: If basic infrastructure is not faithfully maintained, an infrastructure deficit will occur. This only leads to increased costs down the road. Regular repairs, replacement etc. are crucial to avoid such a deficit. It is also important to improve infrastructure wherever it’s financially feasible. The new Library/Art Gallery Project would be a perfect example of enhancing the infrastructure of our town.

5. To ensure that Smithers is a safe community: Some residents do not feel that Smithers is as safe as it could be. While public safety is a complex issue, it is important to not ignore issues of basic safety.

In pointing out the challenges/priorities listed above, I believe it is crucial to never lose sight of the fact that the strengths of Smithers far outweigh the challenges. And in my mind, the greatest strength is the many wonderful people that have decided to call Smithers their home, and who invest their time and energies into making our small town such a special and unique community!

Just Posted

WATCH: Sparks fly as two people speak out during Oct. 12 North Matters event in Smithers

The First-Nations led pro-LNG community celebration took place Oct. 12 at Bovill Square

Judge reserves sentencing until Dec. 9 in Giesbrecht trial

Crown asks for 12-15 years of parole ineligibility

Advance voting in 2019 federal election begins

Voting at advance polling stations has become a popular choice in Canada over the years

‘The end of an era’: Town thanks Director of Finance Leslie Ford for 20 years of service

Ford first came onto the Town’s staff in 1999 as a Financial Administrator.

Vandals tag Telkwa

Several places in the Village were sprayed with graffiti over the weekend.

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

‘Wham-bam out the door’: Surrey man’s front yard left ruined by scamming landscaper

Resident warns neighbours to be careful of door-to-door salesmen

The one with the ‘Friends’ photoshoot: Kelowna group recreates TV show intro

A friend’s departure prompted them to create something that really says, “I’ll be there for you”

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

Most Read