Council candidates talk attraction in our final election question

Town of Golden: Council candidates discuss what can be done to make Golden a more "attractive place".

  • Nov. 12, 2014 4:00 p.m.

Candidates for Council, by the end of your four-year term, what change(s) would you like to see to make Golden a more “attractive” place? (More aesthetically attractive, more attractive to potential residents, more attractive to potential businesses, more attractive to tourists?)

Leslie Adams

I think that Golden is already a very attractive place. You just have to look at all the new faces around town to see that people visit here, and they want to stay. We have world-class attractions, beautiful surroundings and an authentic, unpretentious, working community.

Our community has a tremendous range of activities including lively community celebrations, beautiful trails for walking and biking, and a splash park. We have a full calendar of cultural events, the farmers’ market and a hockey team. We have a rich and diverse community life.

But we need to ensure that we have opportunities for everyone, for every age, regardless of financial status. I want to see continued support for our current recreation programs. And I will work towards enhancements to our active transportation systems; a great way to make transportation more accessible and affordable for everyone.

We must ensure that our community is business-friendly with bylaws and policies that are easy to navigate, zoning that is sensible, and costs that are not too restrictive. Citizens must be able to purchase what they need here in Golden and people need to be able to work here for a living wage.

Connie Barlow

An attractive community is a strong community of local residents and businesses. I will continue to champion Golden as an amazing place to live, work, learn and play.

Golden is surrounded by natural beauty and I will endeavor to ensure the Town maintains, or improves, the appearance and condition of our parks, trails, roads and physical infrastructure. The care and well-being of the people – our diverse community of residents – is equally as important. An attractive community is one where there are jobs; educational, training and recreational opportunities; and support systems and services available to all.  I envision a town where every person feels like an integral part of the community.

I believe in creating child care options so parents can go to work knowing their children are safe and thriving.  I will continue to endorse the execution of the Age Friendly Community Plan to ensure older residents are supported. I will promote the alignment of economic development partners and initiatives so that we are truly open for business in Golden.

Golden will naturally flourish as we address the needs of our residents and our business community.  Visitors, tourists and newcomers will be naturally attracted to our vibrant community.

Lori Baxendale

Golden survived and is ready to  move on from the global economic downturn.  A modern economic outlook needs vision to attract and retain citizens and business.  An attractive,  liveable community is not static, it does not merely maintain the status quo.   Instead a diverse attractive community  acknowledges where it’s at and where it is going.  Over time, new needs and priorities constantly arise and change in addition to, or in place of, earlier ones.  Effective investigation and prioritization of changing issues that occur is a shared interest among all stakeholders in the creation of a community’s success.

Civic leaders in local government that are flexible and adaptive policy setters and decision makers can better determine what efforts will enhance liveability in both the near and long term so that our community can reach it’s full potential in all respects.   This is especially important for trying to attract the best and brightest global minded citizens; for if they (or their families) are not pleased with our amenities, services, and quality of life they won’t choose us.  With your vote on Saturday, please create and elect a team that will continue the trajectory of all our strengths and add more successes.

Jim deBolebec

There maybe nothing worse than starting off with an old cliché that “beauty is only skin deep”.

If I am elected to Council I would propose to revise existing by-laws and development plans in order to encourage new businesses to come to Golden. I would seek a prompt implementation of the Age Friendly Community Plan. I would support fewer Closed Council meetings. Through strong financial management streets, sidewalks, sewer and water lines would be improved at a faster rate. All shared facility agreements with Area “A” would be reviewed. I would work with Council members that share a similar vision of Golden and continue to pursue a more stable financial future for the community.

As for the opening cliché? The Town can spend money on making the town appear more beautiful yet as with the saying it is only skin deep. People are attracted by the beauty but it is the amenities and economic opportunities the Town has to offer that are important. Residents want a community they can work in, raise a family and hopefully see their own children continue to live in. That is what I will work towards.

Andrew Commons

In 4-years, I want to look back and know that I was a part of the elected leadership that helped create a local government that inspires confidence in our future. I believe that it is confidence in our municipal government that will help make Golden more attractive. Confidence in our local government supports an inside-out approach to an attractive future.

Attractiveness of a community is founded on the confidence that the future will be prosperous and that those guiding our course will navigate the route to building a community from the inside-out. In order to inspire confidence, it is necessary to focus on those things that we can control to make our future prosperous:

  We need to support our infrastructure and services;

 We need to create effective policy that supports a responsible plan for the future;

 We need to lay the framework to encourage economic solutions;

 We need to build integrative partnerships; and

 We need to be realistic in our expectations.

Making Golden attractive is built on smart leadership, effective management, and innovative ideas. It is built from the inside-out.

On November 15th vote for Andrew Commons for Council. Vote for an inside-out approach.

Janet Crandall

We should always have our focus on keeping the town aesthetically attractive, and I believe that Tourism Golden does a pretty amazing job in attracting tourists to the area.

I would definitely like to see Golden continue to become more attractive to businesses as well as residents, so I would definitely want to focus on things that would affect those areas. The more incentives we can offer these types of groups the better, as diversifying our community makes it stronger.

The changes we would need to make in order to make that a reality is to continue to streamline our processes, evaluate and reevaluate the barriers to entry. We may need to take a hard look at what businesses are currently struggling with on making that decision to invest in Golden. What is attracting them here, and then where are we getting it wrong, and how can we do it better.

Residents moving to Golden would have a different criteria obviously, but not completely – real estate prices, amenities, etc.

Some things we can have a direct effect on, and others not so much, so we need to focus on what we can improve and follow up to be certain that it makes the difference.

Bruce Fairley

At the end of four years on Council I would look forward to seeing the following:

1. A thriving business in every storefront that is now empty downtown;

2. A scenic hiking trail of about 300 metres leading to a spectacular lookout over the Town;

3.  A real start being made on the upgrading and replacement of our aging sewer, drainage and road systems;

4. A reputation across British Columbia as the little Town that is the most welcoming to entrepreneurs looking to start new business;

5. The most beautiful Trans Canada highway strip in all of B.C. if not Canada;

6. A town that spent its money so wisely we went for four years without significant tax increases;

7. The most happy, active, energetic and satisfied bunch of seniors in all of Canada;

8. At least two significant big new employers bringing jobs and stability to Golden;

9. Reserves that are bigger those that Jim Doyle left us when he ceased to be Mayor –  at least $6,000,000.00;

10. Funding for volunteer groups re-instated at a modest level;

11. A whole whack of new and enthusiastic candidates in their 20s, 30s and 40s running to replace me.

Chris Hambruch

Implementation of the recommendations in the Age Friendly Community Plan is a priority for me to make Golden attractive to the senior population. Ensuring that our seniors can continue to live in the community they built is important. Sidewalk repair and maintenance, paving of high traffic areas of the walking trails, surface upgrades and maintenance of other areas, improved sidewalk snow and ice removal, were the top priorities. While there are a few now, accessible public washrooms were listed as a need. I would hope that community groups will step forward to help make a few more a reality like the Rotary Club did at the Confluence Park. Enforcing the current snow and ice cleaning on commercial and residential sidewalks will make it possible for seniors to stay active in the community all year long. Improving pedestrian and cycling connectivity by providing highly visible cross walks at intersections and highly utilised crossing locations will make it safer for everyone, including seniors. The long awaited pedestrian and cycling connection from downtown to the west Highway 1 area is a project that is currently in the planning stages. I would like it to be completed within the next 2 or 3 years.

Serge Lamarche

I believe we must first show that the town is made of responsible people that keep an eye on the important basic things. Improving the financial situation is a must. If the town is led toward bankruptcy, its negative impacts would negate the attractions to live here. The town is full of resources, so balancing the books should be relatively easy. With the basics secured, expenses can be made toward quality of life, and then toward attractions like destinations, i.e. what makes people come here in the first place. Activities like biking, hiking, sightseeing, snowmobiling, skiing, flying are already established. The town may reinstate funding available on experimental projects on merit. Often, people have great ideas that only need some support to be launched. Attractiveness can also be improved by removing hindrances or risks. Town rules that hinder businesses/living without adding value should be removed or simplified. Risks like flood from the Columbia in particular, should be mitigated as much as possible and affordable. Air quality is still an issue that makes living in town less attractive. And crime rates should be kept low, maybe with the help of a network of webcams strategically located (with attractive views…).

Eddie Leigan

Attractive can mean a lot of different things to different people. So I would say… Confidence.

Confidence is attractive. How can we boast about our community to people and make them want to come here or live here if we aren’t confident in it ourselves?

When we are proud of the place we live in others will want to feel the same way. So how to make this happen? I want the younger people who are starting their forever home here, or are growing up here, involved with the decisions in their community. When we involve everyone in the direction this town takes they will all  be proud of the fact they have created this place… thus creating the confidence that we  love the home we have created.

Now we also need to care for the older demographic so they are confident in their home too, families can be much more than just young people. I know some of us are already confident that this is the best place but we ALL need to be confident in our home united as one, so let’s work together, be confident, and make this the BEST place to call home. Thank you.

Caleb Moss

I would be ecstatic, four years from now, to wander down to our still open post office and enjoy feasting my eyes, not upon that strange angular metal fountain like thing, but instead, on a giant kicking unicorn statue (horses are cool, but unicorns are awesome!), or a huge stuffed Willy Forest (may he finally rest in peace) or a massive carved stone head of former mayor Benty.

I would love for Golden to have been provided the legislative tools by the province to deal with derelict properties and brown field sites, to have embraced and developed our incredible riverfront potential, to have continued to build a vibrant aesthetic throughout all business districts, and continue to maintain our small town feel’ while growing a more sophisticated interface with an evolving diverse economy

I would love to see, four years from now, the next election campaign being conducted by proactive candidates wanting to get elected on platforms founded upon what they could add to our community and not based on context-less financial gibberish and blatant factual misrepresentations.  It really is a pretty low class and shameful tactic and an attempt to entice personal votes, rather than bringing about active change.

Bob Munro

My wish list for an Attractive Golden:

Beautification & Access

•Complete the TransCanada Highway Corridor Enhancement project

•Clean-up/landscape the junction of Highway 95/TransCanada including vacant lands to the north & south

•Clean-up/landscape the exits to Lafontaine/Upper Donald Rd & the dry ponds by the Tourist Information Centre

•Build pedestrian walk-ways over the Trans Canada & expand the Rotary Trail network along the TransCanada & up to Canyon Ridge/Pine Drive

•Pass & enforce a legally sound Unsightly Property By-law.


•Update both Official Community Plan & Zoning Plans

•Streamline the approval process.   Make it easier for business to locate/ expand

•Expand ultra high speed Internet/Wireless service throughout the community

•Offer short term incentives for businesses to local/expand in Golden


•Support/fund local community groups that operate/built recreation facilities/infrastructure

•Continue to support/fund a vibrant/sustainable Arts & Culture community

•Maintain existing recreation programs & find innovative ways to expand/enhance these services


•Better manage Town finances so they are affordable, effective & efficient

•Increase savings for Infrastructure

•Provide more open/transparent government

•Aggressively promote Golden as a great place to live, work and play