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Former Courtenay mayor Starr Winchester to run for seat on city council

With the encouragement of friends, family and Courtenay residents, I’m excited to announce that I am running for Courtenay council.

With the encouragement of friends, family and Courtenay residents, I’m excited to announce that I am running for Courtenay council.

I have previously served 21 years on Courtenay council, both as mayor and Ccouncillor, and I bring an experienced, steady voice to the table.

While on council I served on the Comox Valley Regional District, water, sewer and regional solid waste committees, and also served two years on the board of Island Health, formerly known as VIHA.

I’m proud of my solid track record during the time I served on Courtenay council and if elected I will bring a positive platform for Courtenay.

Here are some of the key issues I will focus on if I have the privilege of being elected:

Public safety: A very complex and crucial topic, and a serious issue facing us today. Crime has increased at an alarming rate, and I propose that Courtenay play a lead role to work collaboratively with other municipalities to lobby senior levels of government for more funding for our RCMP. Our citizens deserve to live in a safe community.

Traffic congestion: Studies are done and it is time for decisions to be revisited. I propose that costs be shared Valley-wide, along with funding from senior levels of government to improve the traffic flow in and out of Courtenay. Do we really need a $4 million pedestrian bridge adjacent to our existing bridge?

I support bike lanes; however, vehicles are necessary for the majority of our citizens, and that’s not going to change.

More housing options: We have a limited supply of land zoned for housing in the existing Official Community Plan. We need to review this plan, and come up with innovative housing ideas for people of all ages. I will work with all levels of government, organizations and the development industry to provide solutions to make this happen.

Keep taxes down: Families and especially seniors on fixed incomes cannot afford high tax increases year after year. We need to focus on our core responsibilities, and live within our means.

Seniors: Seniors deserve our attention and respect and it’s important that we provide the amenities they deserve. The time has come to support them with a renovation to the Florence Filberg Centre. I will be a strong voice for seniors at the council table.

Satellite fire hall: This project has been delayed for over seven years. The studies were done, and the property has been purchased. We cannot wait for a catastrophe to happen. Let’s get it done! I was born and raised in Courtenay and I’m grateful to live in such a beautiful community. I have a strong business background, retiring in 2000 after 32 years in the banking industry.

I have a solid track record and the experience required to be a strong voice for the citizens of Courtenay. I respectfully ask for your support on Oct. 15.