Candidates for council answer questions

Town of Golden: Town Council candidates answer: Candidates for Town Council, what’s your most valuable asset that you will bring to council?

  • Oct. 22, 2014 11:00 a.m.

Candidates for Town Council, what’s your most valuable asset that you will bring to council?

Leslie Adams

I consider my connections with people in our community to be the most valuable asset that I would bring to the council table. Through my employment, my education and my volunteer experiences over the last 24 years, I have focussed on building relationships with members of our community from every walk of life.

I have connections with service providers, youth, seniors, families and people who have come here from all over the world. I enjoy getting to know people; I am always curious about their experiences and I want to understand how they feel and what matters to them.

I work hard to be helpful, approachable and a non-judgemental listener. And I want people to advise me on what they think is important. I want to be held accountable for the decisions that I will make on council.

At each election, we collectively choose a group of citizens to act as our representatives for decision-making, and it is important, in my mind, that the councillors we choose embody a wide range of experiences. The relationships and connections that I bring will help to ensure that our new council is responsive and accountable to everyone.

Connie Barlow

The relationship I have with people is the most important asset I will bring to Council.

I have a balanced understanding of how this community works together – a functional knowledge of how government works; how non profits work internally and collaboratively; and the conditions businesses, individuals and families need to be healthy.

With this balanced understanding I have been a key partner in a number of recent community projects.  Mountain View Seniors Housing, the Age Friendly Community Plan, the new Early Years Centre, the Golden Youth Centre, the Early Learning and Child Care Centre are all initiatives where the relationship among the partners is recognized as the primary factor of success.  We are all proud of what we have accomplished together.

I will bring the values of collaboration, communication and cooperation to the Council table.  Differing opinions will come out of debate and dialogue.  I am not afraid of a good fight.  Standing on my principles, I will remain committed to an improved quality of life for everyone.

The relationship I have with people is my most important asset.

Your vote DOES count.  Please vote on November 15th.

Lori Baxendale

The strongest asset I can bring to the Council team is Collaboration:  My love of it, the value I hold in it, my reverence for what it can achieve and my commitment to practising it with all decisions and issues.

There’s a significant difference between merely working together and truly collaborating with one another. Achieving true collaboration — in which the whole is definitely more than the mere sum of the individual parts — is challenging.  People have to set aside their egos, trust one another, and share their expertise willingly.  Composing the ideal team is critical; a team that has cohesion, stability and a positive team culture.  Look for the common ground among the team, that common ground should continually be what’s best for the community as a whole. This shared purpose helps encourage the atmosphere of collaboration as well as sacrifice for the greater good of the desired end result.

There is such vast experience, skills, education and perspectives available in our lives.  As mere mortals we can not possess it all.  Sharing it, capturing it, pooling the resources, can expand our collective intelligence and abilities to solutions far beyond the reach of the individual. Together we are stronger.

Jim deBolebec

This week we were asked by the Editor what is the most valuable asset we would bring to Council if elected? I would hope that you, the voting public, are not going to assess a candidate and say “Oh, this person would do a good job on Council for this single reason”.

The problems currently facing Golden were brought about primarily because of tunnel vision. What one should be looking for are candidates that bring varied talents not just one.

In my case I bring a well rounded career. I started off as a government employee then worked for private industry and finally owned and operated my own consulting business. I am now semi-retired working part time for a local business. I have volunteered and held various positions in a number of local and provincial organizations and continue to do so.

The most valuable asset that I would bring to Town Council is that I am a resident of Golden that faces the same everyday problems as you the taxpayers. I would work diligently with Council to provide an environment that is favourable to both residents and business to make one proud and encourage others to make Golden their home.

Andrew Commons

The most valuable asset that I can bring to Council is my wealth of business experience.

As a long-time business owner in Golden and resident of the area, I have a passion for the continued vibrancy of our community. In order to support the ideals and goals of community sustainability and development, I believe it is my responsibility and obligation to participate in the leadership of our community’s vision for a vibrant future. Pursuing a leadership role on the Town of Golden’s Council is the natural step in my continued passion to help build and sustain our community.

Elected local officials play a key role in supporting the community as custodians of public service to create a long-term vision for a vibrant and resilient community.

I understand the need to be accountable to the people of the community and the need to make responsible decisions to manage risk and reward. As a business leader and community advocate, I bring a sense of understanding, vision, and passion to make effective decisions as an elected official that balances the needs of today in order to meets the needs of tomorrow.

Janet Crandall

The most valuable asset I would bring to council is the experience I gained while working at the Golden Star. From a management perspective, as a publisher I was responsible for managing all aspects of the business, in addition to the day-to-day operation of running a newspaper. Much can be gained from working at a community newspaper in a small town.

I see a parallel between the newspaper and council. Like council, a small-town newspaper must have a view of the community as a whole, and a view of its parts – with similar and conflicting interests – leading to a unique responsibility of community focus. It takes a certain kind of person or group of people to do either kind of work effectively and love it, because at some point the realization sets in that it is people’s lives that you’re dealing with. How one deals with people is paramount to any situation, regardless of what that situation is.

While working for the newspaper taught me much about the business world and about the workings of this community, I believe my experience in dealing effectively with people is a transferable asset that will serve council, and ultimately the community, well.

Bruce Fairley

The most valuable asset which I would bring to Town Council would be a level of management and advocacy skills that I do not believe can be matched by any other candidate for councilor.

This skill set includes familiarity with complex financial transactions, ability to read and interpret financial statements, and management of a profitable business year in and year out.

Also I have managed a staff of four professionals for more than 25 years who have provided a high level of service to the community.   As a business owner, I am very sensitive to seeing that the Town gets the best value for taxpayer dollars.

These skills have benefited many organizations in the community, and my volunteer record  likely exceeds that of any other candidate.  It includes stints as Chair of the former Economic Development Committee, President of the Rotary Club, Governor of College of the Rockies and Chair of its Finance Committee, Treasurer of several organizations including the Nordic Club and the Regional Wildsight Board, and more than 20 years of involvement in land use planning forums.   I also founded the Committee of Responsible Electors which advocated successfully for better oversight of the Town’s financial expenditures.

Chris Hambruch

I feel that my most valuable asset to council is the time I have to spend working on the duties that a Councillor has.

As most people know, I am on CPP disability pension due to MS. I feel that being a town councillor is my full time job, one that I have devoted myself to for 18 years. I have the time to dedicate to meeting with individuals and groups to discuss issues and to look for solutions.

I also have time to join many sub-committees and devote myself to researching the issues and helping find suitable solutions to the issues that come up with governing the town.

Serge Lamarche

Difficult question to answer. The most valuable asset always depends on the situation to start with. Everyone has qualities, knowledge and skills that will be of value in some situations but less so in others.

The council will have to take decisions mostly. Councillors would need enough knowledge, judgement and impartiality as a group to be able to decide for the best of the population. They also need to have a sense of justice and goodness so that the society can be sustainable. With my training in science and research, I would say that I can certainly bring the ability to analyse honestly and impartially situations and issues arising.

I think the council should also have some diversity but strongly rooted in Canada. I think also that councillors should consider the value of arguments above the position or wealth of the people forwarding them.

This means remaining skeptical and truly understand the arguments in question. Being able to actively participate in frank discussions on issues is certainly a plus. In a nutshell and without being too specific, I would say I can bring a balanced, impartial, honest analysis of local issues that would align with sustainable Canadian values.

Eddie Leigan

If elected to council I believe I could bring the extremely valuable asset of being able to connect with and understand the younger demographic of Golden. I am able and willing to connect with all age demographics of Golden, however, I believe it is critical to engage the youth with making decisions about the future of Golden.

I would like to be a channel that the younger generation will feel comfortable approaching and taking to about their visions for Golden and their concerns about things happening within our community.

The younger demographic could give me feedback for council discussions, ensuring that they are being represented.  They need to have a say in what is going on within our community, subsequently creating a sense of pride that their opinions and choices are shaping the community that they live in.

I believe if we engage the youth and future community leaders with choices and issues that are important to their lives that we will see a rise in the number of engaged youth going forward into the future.   I would be honored to be chosen as the individual to make this connection and engagement happen.

Caleb Moss

The primary role of a town councilor is to set policy for the municipality.  Setting policy entails influencing the crafting of resolutions and bylaws.  As an elected official you have but one vote as an individual. In order to be effective, it is imperative to be able to function as a diverse and dynamic legislative body.

The asset I bring to the table which I consider most valuable is an ability to synthesize diverse information and disparate points of view in a high level manner.

During my two terms on council I have been very successful in gaining the respect of and forming excellent working relationships with each and every councilor I have sat alongside, regardless of ideological foundation.  These strong working relationships are based on my breadth of experience and skill in keeping the policy issues at the forefront, being more concerned with making good decisions than with being right, and always doing so while taking it seriously but holding it lightly.

I am most proud of the fact that I work passionately for this community, and do so in a personal style that is dynamic, amusing (mostly), inclusive and contextually relevant.

Bob Munro

The most valuable asset I bring to council is my Strategic & Management experience.

During my career I helped establish Strategic Plans on both a national & provincial level.  In other roles I was responsible for leading & managing teams of employees to the successful achievement of Strategic Plans.

Many of these skills have been used in the establishment of our own successful small business.

Golden needs a Strategic Plan that will preserve the services & benefits we enjoy today; one that ensures our children and future generations will be able to enjoy these same benefits at a price they can afford.

The Town needs to start saving large amounts of money for major road, sewer & water improvements and renovations/upgrades to facilities such as the Rec Plex, swimming pool, river dykes, parks & trails and other Town facilities.

We need to establish key priorities and ensure your tax dollars are wisely spent.

We can maintain & enhance existing services & programs but more importantly we need the discipline to set aside significant funding so that future generations can enjoy them as well.

My Strategic & Management experience will be a valuable resource in this process.