Occupations? Contractor/consultant, part time school bus driver
Furthest place you travelled and why. China, to climb Mt. Omei with my father.
Describe yourself using five words or less. Intense, clever, curious and occasionally impatient.
What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you? I am actually somewhat shy in large social settings.
What do you see as the top election issues? Managing Pemberton's growth and infrastructures, developing new housing that fits our town, creating a strong business environment, supporting existing industries and growing new ones and continuing to build a range of recreational facilities and services for our young population should be the top focuses for our council. The biggest challenge is to pursue those goals while doing so in a manner that reflects the ideas and visions of our exceptionally diverse community and with limited revenue. Keys to that are to maintain open lines of communication with and to engage the public, draw locally from our large pool of skills and resources and build a strong partnership with Lil'wat Nation, all while exploring new and creative solutions.
How would you address the housing developments now facing the Village? Pemberton is projected to carry on growing in the years to come so I believe it is important to be pro active and to continue to define and zone for the housing needs of the future. The three main development areas on the table (Tiyata, The Benchlands and The Hillside) are all strong proposals offering distinctly different products and supplying different housing needs, styles and price range and we should continue to work with these developers. Our varied population demographic is most evident when issues of housing development are being discussed and there is a range of strong opinions as to how it should look. Whereas I think the above developments have a lot of merit I think it is of top importance that we continue to involve public consultation with the application process of these proposals so as to ensure that they reflect what the community feels is Pemberton's identity. We can never view these as short term cash grabs and must ensure that view lines, trails, green spaces and farmland are protected and that Pemberton benefit from the developments financially and with amenities for the long term.
What do you think is the Village of Pemberton's role in boosting economic activity? Council and administration need to continue to expand our economic base to ensure that a variety of industries contribute to our local job market and economy. It is important for small towns' long-term financial health that it not be reliant on just one or two industries. Agriculture, recreation, forestry, tourism, resources (ie. energy, mining) are all strong, growing industries here that can be built on. These, the airport and industrial park and our proximity to Whistler and Vancouver all bring a myriad of opportunities to grow businesses and build long term and varied jobs in our community that need to be explored.
What would you do to enhance the environment for business? We have to manage costs and excessive bureaucracy and build an atmosphere where business people and developers are encouraged and assisted through the necessary processes as opposed to being road-blocked by them as has happened in the past. We also need to tap into the skills in our community to build educational outlets where our youth can get support and training to build their business ideas.
Give an example of a difficult situation you have overcome. I can't think of a greater challenge personally than raising a family and balancing a professional and active community life.
Where can people go to get your election platform? E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Facebook page: Mike Richman for Pemberton council