Fort St. James 2014 municipal candidates

Candidates running for municipal council in Fort St. James outline their platforms.

Municipal elections take place this November!

Kris Nielsen

I am seeking a seat as a councillor for the 2014-2018 term for the municipality of Fort St. James.  Having previously served four terms on council under the leadership of three different mayors I have been a part of changes that have both benefited and challenged municipal administration and operations in Fort St. James.

I am confident I can be an asset as a municipal councillor with a willingness to engage with taxpayers at all levels, take on the approach of both leader and/or follower to the benefit of finding solutions and ask both the hard and easy questions.

The current and out-going council is leaving a legacy of projects and initiatives outlined in the annual report that offer the new council a strategic plan that can guide decision making over the upcoming four-year term.  At the same time the new council will have opportunity to set its own priorities through existing goals and the creation of new goals.

The new protocol agreement between Nak’azdli Band and the municipality of Fort St. James offers an enhanced level of communication and information sharing that is anticipated to reap benefits on many levels.

The community will continue to face challenges around economic development, changes in population demographics and supporting infrastructure.  The new council and returning mayor will need to continue to engage with key decision making stakeholders at many levels to ensure continued sustainability of Fort St. James. Sustainability will require enhancing infrastructure for health and social health services, post-secondary learning and training opportunities, diverse housing needs and more.

On the employment side, we need to continue to support existing and new industry, commercial and retail and other types of businesses that can draw population to the area for new employment opportunities.

Russ Gingrich

Firstly, I would like to congratulate all other candidates seeking election for Councillor for the District of Fort St. James

My name is Russel Gingrich and I am seeking re-election as a councillor.

I have lived in Fort St. James for 49 years and have been married to my wife, Donna for 45 of those years. We have raised our two children here.

My involvement in community concerns have been significant over the years. I spent 21 years in the minor hockey system as a coach, president, official and director. I was involved with minor ball in the initial start up and as a coach and director for 10 years. I was also a proud member of our Fire Department.

As for my background in our district council, I have been involved for nine years, including the most recent term.

In the past tenure, I was delegate to the Public Works Dept., alternate to the Fire Dept., co-chair of the transportation committee, delegate to the seniors’s assoc. and a strong force in the seniors helping seniors program. I was also involved in the community forests. All have been rewarding and must be pursued.

My direction would be to continue on these delegations and be a part of the continued success in our community.

My goal is for continued fiscal responsibility, a strong decisive voice on council, continued stability for our community and a desire to have a relatively healthy community.

On Nov. 15, I ask for your support and the honour of being your representative.

Brad Miller

 

I believe we can build better infrastructure in Fort St. James and create a united and stronger community under one municipal umbrella to cover those who are not within the city limits.

One of the most important reasons for my choice is that it’s time for me to give back to the community. I was born and raised in my beloved town of Fort St. James. I started my business in this community over 4 years ago, I have grown what started as a single truck into a multi-business and now I represent ABC Recycling in Fort St. James with an extensive recycling program

That success is due, in large measure, to the welcome I received into this community and the support my family and I have enjoyed over the many years that our business was growing. In return, I have had the opportunity to give back to my community by providing financial support to many charities, including the dedicating a bus to transport the kids who are in need, and to serve any non-profits organization in our community

I believe with your help I will be able to serve you and create a better, more prosperous community, based on a strong foundation of economy and efficient amenities. It is time for our town to rise up and cope with the fast changes in our economy in northern B.C. It is time for all of us to work harder and harder towards building a strong future for our kids and also the time that we should all focus towards safer roads that serve the high traffic volume of the business and citizens of Fort St. James.

I am Brad Miller and I am asking for your Vote on Nov. 15, 2014

Brenda Gouglas

 

My name is Brenda Gouglas and I am seeking your vote for Councillor in the November 15thMunicipal election. As a long-time resident of Fort St. James and having served as a Municipal Councillor from 2005 through to 2011, I have grown to understand the amount of work and commitment that goes into making this community a great place to live, work and play.

Building on my past experiences, I will add to the traditional roles of councillor to help make our community more resilient by working towards: safety on our roads for drivers and pedestrians; adequate health care for all ages; sufficient housing for individuals, families and our seniors, and by making sure that we care for our environment for future generations.  These endeavors will not only go a long way in enhancing the quality of life for our residents; they will also help support our businesses and industrial sectors making our community more inviting.

Diversifying our economy locally is also something I intend to focus on.  Encouraging and supporting industries and businesses to make Fort St. James the destination, and not just a stopover for their operations and employees, will ensure our sustainability.  The expansion of our tourism opportunities will showcase our community and surrounding area.

As a Councillor I will always be committed to listening to comments, concerns and ideas from residents, volunteer and non-profit organizations, businesses, industries, First Nations neighbours and governments.  By working closely together we will make our community the best it can be.

 

Dave Birdi

 

I have been part of the Fort St. James community since the 1970’s.  I went to school here and then after graduation, moved to the lower mainland to further my education. I worked there for a few years and then moved back to Fort St. James. It is here that my wife, Harjit, and I, chose to stay and raise our three children.

I work at Conifex as a supervisor and am very active in the community. My involvement with the Fort St. James Youth Soccer includes being on the organizing committee, a certified district referee, and treasurer. I am the President of Fort St. James Television and Radio Society, a non-profit organization providing TV and radio services to the region. The Society also operates the local Emergency Radio station, provides space in the towers for the 9-1-1 system, and provides free internet through town to keep people in touch and promote the community to our residents and to visitors.

In addition to some of my Council portfolio duties of Acting Mayor, Protective Services, Seniors, and Industry, I sit on regional boards and committees.  These include:

Prince George Treaty Advisory Committee – First Nation Treaty Negotiations

Nechako Valley Community Services Society – Providers of social and mental health services

New Gold – proposed Blackwater Gold mine project south of Vanderhoof

Fort St. James District needs to continue to promote “open for business” polices, and to encourage partnerships with all levels of government and community groups for a diversified and stable economic base.

Some of the challenges we now face are demands for affordable rental housing, daycare and seniors housing. Social policies and good business environment will help the community with enhanced infrastructure such as water and roads. To maintain low levels of taxation, we will continue to pursue provincial and federal grants.

I look forward to continuing to serve this progressive community, as I once again ask for your support to help me serve Fort St. James.