My political experience includes two terms on Keremeos Village Council (2011-2014 and 2014-2018) plus serving as a director on the local riding Conservative Party of Canada board of directors since 2011. In 2018, I ran for Keremeos mayor and lost by only 15 votes.
Since then I have continued volunteering: I organized the Christmas Lightup Parade and Craft Show in 2019; and partnered with the Chamber president Mac Watson to host the Christmas Lightup Parade and celebrations in 2021. I’ll be once again volunteering at the Similkameen Sizzle Saturday, Sept. 24, at Memorial Park.
Since 1997, I have been self-employed as one of Canada’s top bookkeepers: in the past 25 years there hasn’t been an accounting or audit problem I couldn’t solve on behalf of my clients. I regularly work with all levels of government and have helped many business start-ups. I consider myself an environmentalist. During my first term on Keremeos Village Council, I was a strong advocate to keep the Keremeos public water untreated and build the fresh water storage reservoir. I pull weeds instead of spraying them; I love leftovers; I re-use, re-purpose and up-cycle items around my home; I turn the lights out when I leave the room; I pick up other people’s trash; and I embrace the RDOS region-wide “dark skies” objective for street lighting.
Keremeos must stop spreading out and start building up to preserve ALR (Agricultural Land Reserve) property.
During my two terms on Keremeos Village Council, I voted in favour to provide a Letter of Support each time the Lower Similkameen Community Services Society applied for provincial affordable housing funding. The newest low-income facility I was in favour of is a three-story structure – a first for Keremeos.
One idea I want to champion is to work with the province of B.C, colleges, Innovation Canada and Industry Canada to develop a facility in Keremeos for identifying and implementing ways to re-use and re-purpose consumer goods. I re-purpose items every day, so imagine the ingenious ideas if we put like-minded people from all walks of life together under one roof.
We’ve had some close calls in recent years: Spring 2018 mountain runoff flooded basements and crawlspaces in the lower part of Keremeos; August 2018 the Snowy Mountain wildfire engulfed K Mountain; and the November 2021 atmospheric river swelled the Similkameen to near-overflowing. Climate change is real, and the Village of Keremeos needs to adapt.
My priorities as mayor will be: working to reduce crime; installing and repairing infrastructure to prevent flooding; pressuring the province of B.C. for more medical professionals; improving the street appeal of public and private properties; working with the Chamber to bring business; increasing pedestrian safety in the downtown core; improving bylaw enforcement; and reducing red tape at the front counter.
I truly believe I have the skills, foresight, experience and ideas to make Keremeos a safer and more vibrant place.