As a business and cooperative consultant, a director with a credit union and a governance professional, I absolutely have the skillset needed to assess information, communicate with constituents, debate issues, and make decisions on their behalf. Through cooperation, action, and creative thinking I will encourage active, tangible solutions to the City's many important issues. My message is simple; let's make it easier for residents to do business, have an impact, feel safe and thrive.
It’s imperative to support local businesses as most are still grappling with the effects of COVID 19 and the more recent challenges of finding staff. Add the daily struggle of property crime and you could call it an imperfect storm for small business. Let’s make their lives less difficult by saying “Yes” more often than “No” and backing them wherever feasible and possible. Because when our economy does well, we all thrive.
But we can't focus just there, every issue is complex, and we need to look at how people are being impacted as well. I know for example that accessibility is an issue for many in our community and the challenges faced are baked right into the system. Affordable housing, lack of sidewalks and crosswalks to traverse busy streets, complications when applying for the HandiDart service, or access to health care providers are some examples of opportunities ripe for transformation. Let’s conquer red tape with innovation and approach accessibility through the lens of creative thinking.
It's important that we find ways to work together, to bolster community mindedness and to streamline our existing systems. There really is no single important issue, that's why I stand for People, Planet and Prosperity
Originally from Clinton, I graduated in Ashcroft and moved to the booming metropolis of Kamloops in the 90s to study business at TRU. I’ve been here since, and have close to twenty years working with non-profits and businesses in Kamloops through a number of work and volunteer opportunities including The Relay for Life, Kamloops Food Policy Council, Farm 2 Chef, Community Futures, Kamloops Arts Council and the Kamloops Public Market Cooperative. My community involvement extends beyond board governance, I have hosted free in-person and online Co-op Cafes in alignment with co-operative principle #5, coached minor baseball, played ladies sports (hockey and fastpitch) and been involved in various beginner adult dance troupes over the years.
In 2018, I began a business consulting practice to assist small businesses achieve their highest potential and have contracted with Community Futures of Central Interior First Nations as an export advisor and Sun Country as a Regional Business Liaison helping business recovery efforts in Lytton. Coinciding with this endeavour, I have been a director with Interior Savings Credit Union for six years sitting on the audit and finance, governance, investment & lending, and nominations & elections committees during my tenure. While running for city council, I'm incorporating a worker cooperative that will help other people interested in the model to develop their worker-owned enterprises.
Reason for running
You might see my People, Planet and Prosperity tagline on my signs. I feel we need to drop the silos and consider everything holistically instead of looking at social programs OR climate action plans OR business retention OR attracting doctors. We are a community where folks can't help but bump into each other and have an impact as a result.
As a current director with a credit union and past director with many non-profits in Kamloops, I am accustomed to reviewing year to date financial statements as well as how those numbers measure up to the budgets, at least quarterly. There are existing, legacy thoughts that Council holds; I've been hearing for years that their responsibility with the budget is only to approve the items put forward by staff. I also understand that they only view the numbers annually because the Local Government Act only requires this annual update. I can confirm that by viewing the finance committee agendas for the past two years, I did not see any financial statements or comparison to budget. As a fiduciary or steward for Kamloops taxpayers, Councillors need to take more responsibility for the budget and take that deeper dive.
In terms of funding social service agencies that are expected to support people struggling with mental health and addictions, I would like to see a more cooperative and collaborative approach, with an invitation to a table where every single social service agency is welcome and has an equal right to be there, instead of staff and Councillors playing favourites with the people they view as doing it 'right.' We need a gap analysis completed by an unbiased external party to determine what services we already have and who is being serviced vs. what services are needed and which populations are not being serviced. It's nice to talk about the positive outcomes but it's time to be accountable to all the citizens of our community.
I have heard from many that the City planning and engineering department is difficult to work with; having said this I do not have any personal experience with this and cannot give specific examples. I would like to send the message to staff that the City is “Open for Business” and that efficiencies are needed along with policy improvements. For example, expediting the process by pre-approving designs for carriage houses and other housing opportunities. Maybe the application for a legal basement suite could be an online form if it’s not already. I could also see moving developments that offer a certain percentage of affordable units to the “front of the line” and I would like to ensure that cooperative housing complexes would not face added red tape because they’re not a commonly known development model.
My message is simple; let's make it easier for residents to live a comfortable life, do business, have an impact, feel safe and thrive.