"I dont know if there are other agendas, but slates usually have agendas. I thought in the best interest of democracy I should come
Councillor Mark Blundell
Village of Pembertons Mark Blundell, who first won his place on council in a by-election, has announced he will be seeking a third term in office. The formation of the Valley Vision-Leadership in Action slate was the impetus behind his position.
"I know these people individually, and individually theyre all fine people. But as a slate Im a little concerned that individual voices arent present and we wont have the ability to debate issues," said Blundell. "You need people who are making decisions for the community as a whole instead of (pushing) other agendas. I dont know if there are other agendas, but slates usually have agendas. I thought in the best interest of democracy I should come forward."
He believes that a combination of the experience and skills he has acquired over the last four years will provide a much-needed element of consistency on council.
He sees sustainability as the number one issue facing the community, applying the philosophy to the preservation of the areas unique character.
"People would like to have the urban lifestyle and keep the rural community," said Blundell. "And I think thats a challenge. We cant be everything to everyone.
"We need to address our recreational needs. Whats happening is young families are leaving our community because they dont have the resources for their children that theyd like to have."
Blundell believes the only way recreational needs will be addressed is by thinking outside the box; especially since the number one item in every recreation survey has been a community swimming pool. He points out that with population of 2,000 people and an annual budget of $3 million, achieving this goal will be very difficult for the village.
"Maybe we should be looking at private-public partnerships," he suggested. He explained that a new amenity bylaw that council has just implemented will allow a percentage of Developer Contribution Costs (DCCs) to be applied to recreation. (Prior to the bylaws implementation, DCCs could only be used for sewer, roads and water.)
While DCCs are important to the villages infrastructure, Blundell would be in favour of reducing or eliminating DCCs and offering term tax breaks to attract industry to stimulate the local economy.
"We used to be a logging and farming community. Were still a farming community. I certainly want to keep our green space," said Blundell. "We should look at creating more jobs in farming, such as greenhouses and more organic farming. We have a lot of bug kill in our trees, maybe we should be looking at creating secondary industry products from that wood."