I am seeking the support of the residents of Area “G” of the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen, (Olalla, Hedley and rural Keremeos) to re-elect me as your choice in the upcoming local government election. In working with the residents of Area “G” and other directors of the regional district, as well as the provincial and federal government, we have been able to get a number of things done for Area “G”. I have worked hard to represent the residents of Area “G” for the past three years and look forward to your continued support.
During my working years I was an engineer/ millwright, and moved to this valley some 17 years ago. I am now retired and have been your full time director. I know how hard it is to earn a living and provide for a family. I tried my best to reduce your RDOS tax, and I did by 2.95 per cent lower than last year’s, just to keep Area “G” taxes the lowest for all areas of the regional district.
All my life I have always been a community minded individual, doing what I can to make our community a better place to live. I have served as a director for the Lower Similkameen Community Services Society, a trustee for Hedley Improvement District, chair for Hedley Community Club for six years, Area “G” alternate director 2004-05, board member of Regional District Recreation Committee for five years, as well as the Hedley Community Recreation Commission, and the Woodlie Park Committee. I have demonstrated over the last three years to follow the democratic process to carry out the wishes of Area “G” residents, and get many things done with very little taxpayer funds, always drawing from other sources to get the job done. Like from the provincial and federal government.
1) We have been able to have a considerable reduction in the mosquito population for the residents of Olalla.
2) We have received funding from the province to test the Olalla water system for leaks, and as a result we have received $130,000 in federal and provincial funding to replace some water mains, and develop some contingencies for the system, should we have a power failure for an extended period of time, or a forest fire.
3) Developed a community bulletin board to allow the residents a better flow of RDOS news and matters to residents.
We have been able to repair some recreation facilities in Hedley as well as get grant funding to do some much needed repairs to the Hedley Heritage Societies buildings, as well as the OAP’s buildings, and improvement to the library. I have been negotiating with the Ministry of Highways the need for additional road drainage and re-paving of the main streets of Hedley and they are now in an agreement with us, and recognize that this must be done next spring!
Our farming community: I also believe that our orchards, vineyards and ranches are a very important part of our local economy, and it is important that we minimize regulations to insure they can remain productive and competitive. I have insured that we have representation on our advisory committees to insure their interests are heard and considered.
We have been trying to develop a workable solution to provide temporary accommodations for farm workers in our valley with some success, and some problems. We need to insure many non farm workers do not take advantage of the opportunity and create problems for local businesses and residents. The picker camp near Keremeos will be relocated, and much stricter rules created to insure only actual workers use the facilities. This matter needs more work!!
I ask for your consideration on November 19, as I have the time, commitment, and track record. To insure I get things done for the residents of Area “G.”
– Elef Christensen