I am Jim Elliott and some of you may recognize me from my previous involvement in local politics, as well as my long career local government.
I am running for Area A director because I want to ensure the residents of this area are well represented on the regional district board by someone who understands the challenges facing the Comox Valley.
Bridge traffic, new residential construction, increasing lineups to Denman and Hornby Island, and even the recent highway detours caused by film crews, show that our Valley has much local, national and international appeal. People are coming. Many changes are coming.
The challenges for your elected officials will be to provide the necessary services while protecting the residents from ever-rising taxes and service fees. I believe development can bring many benefits to a community without placing an unwarranted burden not only on the taxpayer but also on the character of surrounding neighbourhoods and available resources. The Regional Growth Strategy Plan outlines areas of future growth. In my opinion however, the RGSP does not adequately address how these areas will be serviced with critical infrastructure.
As the retired manager of Wastewater Services for the Regional District, I have over 35 years of local government experience. During the past four years since my retirement, I have been very involved in planning and delivering water infrastructure. I am passionate about water. Recently, I have become aware of the wide-spread destruction of community watersheds by logging and industrial activity. Protecting our most valuable water resources is a high priority for me, and I will work towards having the regional district board lobby the province for legislation to protect our watersheds.
Accountability and transparency are expected from your elected officials, but what about forums that engage with the community on their issues? I want residents to know that their opinions matter and I will endeavour to engage with residents through community meetings and informal get-togethers.
I believe in a balanced approach where democratic debate allows for a diversity of opinions to better guide the decision- making process. I ask for your support but regardless, come out and vote Oct. 20.