Bev Playfair is running for mayor of Fort St. James.
Playfair, who owned and ran the Window Box flower shop in town for 21 years, and has also served one term on council, from 2008 to 2011.
She says she also has a lot of experience volunteering with the community. She has been involved in minor hockey, the ski hill, the Chamber of Commerce, and she says she also worked as the district representative on the downtown revitalization about six years ago. The downtown revitalization project was a $1.6 million project funded with a grant from the federal government.
Born in Invermere and raised in Forest Grove, Playfair wound up in Fort St. James after becoming good friends with people from the region during her time at school in Prince George. She moved to Fort St. James to work as a dental assistant, before eventually leaving to buy and run the Window Box.
While she owned the shop, Playfair also added on a complete garden centre.
She says she didn’t take the decision to run for mayor lightly. “It was with the support of my family, friends, and residents of Fort St. James I finally made the decision to run for mayor. This is a wonderful town, and there’s some things that need to be done to make it better.”
Playfair says she is a hardworking go- getter, someone who is committed, honest and loyal, and she has five primary areas she would like to address in her time as mayor.
“As a business person, I would like to find a better way to balance the budget, other than raising taxes on a yearly basis,” she says, adding that it could happen in a number different ways.
She says she also wants to support industry and local businesses. “And promote growth looking towards the future.” Playfair says to do that, they would have to be sure to include input from First Nations and other stakeholders as well.
Another issue she would like to focus on is health care, including building the new hospital. She also mentioned addressing issues with seniors health and mental health.
She also wants to encourage continuing and better education in the community. “[I’d like to] work with local educators to make sure our young people are getting the best education possible, in hopes that they’ll go off and get further education and come back to our community.”
Playfair is also concerned with protecting the water and recreation in the community. “Water is a huge thing nowadays, and we’re very fortunate because we’ve got good water here. So we need to protect that. We need to promote recycling. We need to upgrade and maintain our parks, playgrounds, ball diamonds and walking paths. We need to put more effort into that.”
She says there’s lots more to do, but her main focus is on those five areas.
Playfair has lived in Fort St. James for 38 years, and she says she has proved herself a capable candidate, and that she has the “fresh enthusiasm” and ideas to keep the community moving forward.