The running is on for four candidates for the position of Councillor in Fort St. James.
The two-year term will commence in December, 2016.
General Voting Day will be open to qualified electors of the District of Fort St. James on Dec. 10, 2016 from 8am – 8pm at District Municipal Office located at 477 Stuart Drive West, Fort St. James, BC.
Electors will not need to preregister but must meet the following requirements: they must be 18 years of age or older, a Canadian citizen, a resident of BC for at least 6 months immediately preceding voting day, a resident of or registered owner of real property in the District of Fort St. James for at least 30 days immediately preceding voting day and not otherwise disqualified by law from voting.
Resident electors will be required to produce two pieces of identification (one with a signature) Picture identification is not necessary and identification must prove both residency and identity.
Non-resident property electors must produce 2 pieces of identification (one with a signature) to prove identity, proof that they are entitled to register in relation to the property, and if applicable, written consent from the other property owners.
Advance voting will be open at the District of Fort St. James Municipal Office on Nov. 30 and Dec. 7 from 8am – 8pm each day.
If you are unable to vote due to physical disability, illness or injury, voting is permitted by mail ballot. Contact the Chief Election Officer at: (250) 996-8233.
You can also have your questions ready for the All Candidate Forum sponsored by the Fort St. James Chamber of Commerce which will be held at the Music Makers Hall on Dec. 7 at 7pm.
And the candidates for Councillor are:
Judy Greenaway arrived in Fort St. James 42 years ago.
Since then, she and her husband Tom have seen many changes.
“We’ve lived her for so long now. I’ve seen the town grow and get through some really tough times,” Greenaway said.
“But it’s the people and the opportunities in Fort St. James that keep this town going.”
And Greenaway has experienced this firsthand raising her own children in Fort St. James.
She continues to give back to her community and volunteers for various organizations including: the Stuart Lake Seniors Association, the local foodbank, the Seniors Helping Seniors Program and Emergency Social Services.
Greenaway remains passionate about her hometown and has many ideas to bring to the table if chosen as Councillor.
“I’m concerned about timber supply in the area and I would like to help ensure that we have enough so that we can keep our mills running.”
“Also the condition of our roads needs improvement. There are so many logging trucks coming in and out of town, it hurts our roads.”
Recycling is another important issue for Greenaway.
“I would like to look at different recycling options to see if and what we can do and making it viable so that it can happen.”
But for Greenaway, it’s also about the people.
“There are so many opportunities here but it’s the people here that make this town what it is.”
Allan Howell grew up in Fort St. James and is thrilled to be running for the position of Councillor.
“I love this community and I want to see it progress,” Howell said.
Howell loves to keep busy and having helped raise his family with his wife Rosa Anne, Howell continues to work in a career in forestry.
Over the years, Howell has seen many changes in Fort St. James.
“I think it’s so important to support the community and especially our own businesses,” Howell says.
“I’m a big supporter of our businesses and I want to see them grow. I also want to help clean up the town. We have so much to offer her, so many activities and so many great people. We’ve made lots of good friends over the years.”
For Howell, running for Councillor is about helping make a positive difference.
“It’s all about bringing District and community together. People are here to help. Let’s get together and help each other.”
Hallan Mtatiro arrived in Fort St. James two years ago and the town has certainly grown on him since then.
“I really appreciate and love this town,” Mtatiro said. “And that’s why I want to see good things happen and I want to be involved. Fort St. James is so dynamic. Some have been born and raised here, others are just passing through but by bringing our experiences together, there is so much potential here.”
Born in Tanzania, Mtatiro grew up in Coquitlam, BC.
The 28-year-old is currently working at Conifex and has volunteered for the Fort St. James Fire Dept.
“By running for Councillor, I can bring a new perspective, a young voice. I love people and I think the greatest honour in life is being of service to others,” Mtatiro said.
“Local government, at its best, is about representation. I want to represent the unrepresented. Fort St. James is a dynamic community and it should have dynamic leadership.”
Bev Playfair arrived in Fort St. James 36 years ago and then has never looked back.
“This town has been amazing for our kids and continues to be for our grandkids,” Playfair said.
Married to her husband Garvin for 35 years, having raised her children and held various business opportunities in Fort St. James, Playfair has seen many changes too over the years.
“The best thing about this town is that when something devastating happens, everyone pulls together. No matter what it may be, people are there for each other,” Playfair said.
“Playfair has served on council in the past in Fort St. James.
“I’ve been on council before so I know about the policies and procedures that go along with it,” Playfair says.
“And I’m prepared to do the work that needs to be done.”
Playfair feels it’s her time to get back out into the community.
“It’s time for me to be involved again. There’s a lot of work to be done. And as always, I give 100 per-cent of myself. I’m ready to step up and do what’s necessary.”