Residents of Harrison Hot Springs are being asked to go back to the polls next Saturday, May 12. The by-election was spurred on when a Supreme Court judge ruled Richard Shelley was not eligible to run for council, due to complications with his role as a volunteer firefighter. A by-election was called in January, and nine candidates have stepped forward. Some are from councils long ago, some from councils more recent, and others are newcomers altogether.
The Observer asked them four questions about themselves and their visions for Harrison Hot Springs, in advance of the by-election. Click through at the bottom of each page to see the following questions.
Question 3: What is one thing you’d lobby for if elected?
Proper compliance with all the provincial laws and proper enforcement of our bylaws (notably the OCP) instead of special treatment for council cronies (including rewriting bylaws to legalise illegal activity). It’s now like the lawless Wild West with insiders getting whatever they want and the public interest is suffering. For instance; If council had followed the rules, we would not be wasting $40,000 on this by-election. Bungling costs money.
I see a need for looking at budgets thoroughly so that we avoid recent surprises like having no money for maintenance of our new sewer facility. There are also many small issues. For example, during recent winter storms, I saw village snow plows piling snow beside the road blocking many driveways. I have seen frustrated residents looking at these piles of snow blocking them in. Shoveling these mounds of snow is a hardship on our aging population.
I would lobby for an upgrade to the existing public pool, creating something that would substantiate the name Harrison Hot Springs. I know we can work with the current owners to find ways to make this happen. It would definitely be a challenge but the rewards to the community would be phenomenal.
Open the access to the Hot Springs in order that tourists and residents alike would have better access to the resource and it could be a showcase for all to see and enjoy.
Integrity, fiduciary responsibility and common sense. All three of these things together equal one thing — a responsible elected official.
Cut the Mayor/Councillors salaries 50 per cent. Cut they expenses 50 per cent. Eliminate unnecessary jobs. Make sure the tax money works for the residents of Harrison not for the developers.
Establish more tourist related functions: e.g. In co-operation with Harrison Hot Springs Resort Hotel enter into a joint venture with, First Nations and The Village to develop “The Hot Springs Source” as a tourist attraction, complete with destination attractions that would extend visitor night stays at the local hotels.
No Pay Parking, the idea to charge customers for coming to Harrison has a proven negative impact on tourism’s day visitors.This is a fact! I have attended many meetings in the past where the definite will of the majority of voters was against it. This is still a democratic Village and I fully agree with the majority and will vote against it.
To pick just one thing to lobby for from the long list of needs (and wants) our Village has is difficult. Adding key services to our community like medical and dental services is high in my priority list. However, I will strongly lobby for a large outdoor lakeside hot pools facility.
See Question One: How can tourism improve in Harrison despite a gloomy global economy?
See Question Two: Why have you chosen to run in this by-election?
See Question Four: How do you envision Harrison Hot Springs in 20 years?