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

Telkwa holds the line on mill rates

Telkwa taxes to remain steady, but water and sewer rates are going up

Terrace death not considered suspicious at this time: RCMP

Body of 49-year-old man was found in wooded area near Olson Ave. March 22

Highway 16 Action Plan driving progress

Safety, connectivity main goals of scheme presented to Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako.

Houston woman gets two years for aggravated assault

Ewald pleads guilty; trial of co-accused Calvin Dyrland begins in Smithers court

Multi-family housing zoning passed

The way is partly paved for 11 new multi-family strata buildings to go up in Smithers

Edmonton judge rules Omar Khadr’s sentence has expired

Eight-year sentence imposed in 2010 would have ended last October had Khadr remained in custody

B.C. river cleanup crew finds bag of discarded sex toys

Chilliwack volunteers stumble on unexpected find while removing 600 lbs of trash from riverway

Trudeau sells housing plan in visit to hot real estate market in B.C.

Trudeau said the budget contains measures to help first-time buyers

Norway opens probe into why cruise ship ventured into storm

The Viking Sky was headed for southern Norway when it had engine problems on Saturday afternoon

Fired B.C. farmland commission chair backs NDP rule changes

Richard Bullock agrees with Lana Popham, ALC records don’t

Michael Dunahee’s disappearance remains the largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

Kamloops chamber of commerce director let go after controversial Facebook posts

Facebook account had derogatory comments about Muslims, Justin Trudeau

B.C. RCMP officer cleared after Taser incident seriously injures woman

Woman with knives refused to comply with orders therefore officer used appropriate level of force

‘Bikinishe’ swimwear retailer prompts Better Business Bureau warning

Watchdog has gotten dozens of complaints about company, which has been using fake Vancouver address

Most Read