‘Unfinished business’ has area directors vying for second term

Both of the Columbia Valley's regional directors are ready to run again.

Both of the Columbia Valley’s regional directors are ready to run again.

Area F director Wendy Booth (whose area includes the communities of Fairmont, Panorama and Windermere) and Area G director Gerry Wilkie (who has Edgewater, Brisco and Spillimacheen in his area) say they’re both ready for a second term on the Regional District of East Kootenay’s board of directors, and are committed to running in November’s municipal and regional elections.

“What I say is, I have unfinished business. Projects that I want to see are just starting, so I want to see them followed through,” says Booth, who is wrapping up her first term as an area director after beating out the previous incumbent in 2008.

“Three years may seem like a long time, but the first year you’re really just getting your feet under you and it takes a long time to understand how the processes work. And a lot of projects from the previous terms were not finished, so you couldn’t start new projects until those ones were finished, which is fair enough.”

It’s a sentiment Wilkie — also a first-time director, who ran unopposed — echoes.

“It takes a while to pick up all the aspects of the Local Government Act and just to get to know your way around getting things done. I felt fairly happy with the way things went in the first three years, but I think I’d be able to contribute more the next time around having had that experience,” he says.

With some projects started and not yet completed and others still on the to-do list, both directors have a slate of items they’d like to finish up or put in motion.

For Booth, two items of unfinished business involve water: there’s the zoning plan for Lake Windermere, based on recommendations from the recently-completed Lake Management Plan, as well as the regional district’s plan to bring potable water to Windermere residents — though Booth says she’s not yet sure what the next stage for that project is, following a failed referendum in the community earlier this summer.

She’d also like to use a second term to introduce more economic development initiatives for the region, and get wildfire mitigation work underway.

“The wildfire interface, we know that is probably the biggest threat to this region,” she says. “We’re just in the process of completing a community wildfire protection plan for the region, so once that’s complete we’ll have the opportunity to look at where the priority areas are and allocate funds to get mitigation methods out there.”

Wilkie, meanwhile, wants to continue work on an agricultural plan for the East Kootenay, which he says would help preserve farmland  “so it’s not lost to other purposes. That’s going to become increasingly important, I think — small scale food production especially — as our ways and the climate change.”

He’s also hoping the provincial government can be convinced to get involved in creating a recreational access management plan for the valley’s backcountry — something every region in the East Kootenay except the Columbia Valley already has.

“A lot of conflicts develop between motorized and non-motorized operations, between tenures, between recreational users and agricultural users,” he says. “Once you get a plan to guide all forms of recreational activity in a given area, especially when you can bring people together and achieve that plan by consensus, then you end up having a much better world for everybody.”

Just Posted

The end of an Echo
The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

Princeton wildfire phots courtesy of Debbie Lyon.
UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers
VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

Aerial view south of Williams Lake Friday afternoon shows dry lightning storm passing over, leaving fire starts behind. Lightning sparked more than 100 new fires Friday. (Black Press)
VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017
DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase
59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

(Flickr/Andreas Eldh)
Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage
Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds
UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Photo by: WeissPaarz.com
Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert
UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

A university study finds that about nine per cent of Canada’s Grade 11 and 12 students – roughly 66,000 teens – have driven within an hour of drinking and 9.4 per cent drove after using marijuana.                                 Photo: Now-
Leader file
One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records
Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read