Hand of a person casting a vote into the ballot box during elections. (File photo)

Chilliwack Votes 2022: The Progress Q&A with city council candidates – Part 3

Answers to the last 2 of 5 questions asked – Relevant skills and why should voters choose them

The Chilliwack Progress asked candidates running for mayor and city council five questions in advance of the municipal election on Oct. 15.

Only mayoral candidate and incumbent Ken Popove and city council candidate Debora Soutar did not respond.

Each candidate was required to keep answers to all questions below 100 words.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself (i.e. background, previous experience in local government).

2. What do you see as the biggest issue facing the community, and how do you intend to tackle it?

3. What type of development would you like to see in your community, and what steps would you take to attract it?

4. If elected, what is the most relevant skill or experience you can contribute to council?

5. Why should local residents vote for you?

What follows is the answer to the last two questions.

Links to questions 1 and 2, and question 3.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

4. If elected, what is the most relevant skill or experience you can contribute to council?

Ian Carmichael

Understanding and Vision.

I’m not a typical politician. I don’t think in four-year election cycles, I think in four-decade (and longer) cycles. I understand the “shovel” in the ground today, has implications for decades to come. It must not only meet the needs of the community today, but for generations to follow.

We Can get Better, if we ask for it. We don’t have to settle for development proposals that reach for the barest minimum standards. We can and must insist that proposals meet long term community needs and objectives.

Brent Bowker

I am a very logical and rational thinker. I like to have all the information possible, asking for more information when needed, then coming to a swift decision. I’ve had varied experiences in my career starting in a customer service role, then project management and now sales. I’ve worked alongside commercial businesses, with large utility companies as well as commercial, multi-family and industrial property managers and owners. I know I can draw on all this as we make difficult decisions around the council table on the future of Chilliwack.

Nicole Huitema Reid

Leadership – I have many years of experience leading teams of people and seeking feedback to make informed decisions that focus on the outcome. I look beyond the scope of my role and attribute a deep understanding of how my activities feed into the enriched performance of a team. I am all about listening and getting to the roots of issues to develop a fuller understanding. I am an excellent communicator prioritizing clarity, honesty and integrity. My skill in listening for the views of others makes me a strong leader in building strong communities through collaboration and engagement.

Christ Kloot

I have the privilege to have the experience as a councillor these past eight years. I am a director on the Fraser Valley Regional District Board and Hospital District Board, a member on the executive of the Lower Mainland Local Government Association, current chair of the Chilliwack Agricultural and Rural Advisory Committee and the Design Review Committee, and as a past provincial member of the independent taskforce of the Minister of Agriculture Committee for Revitalizing the Agricultural Land Reserve and the Agricultural Land Commission. I think this speaks of my commitment and dedication to this job.

Jason Lum

My political and professional background spans almost 20 years working in local government. I have the skillset, knowledge and experience to ensure the decisions made at the council table represent the needs of all citizens in Chilliwack. I am a team builder, and a team player, and a strong advocate for those who need someone in their corner.

Mike McLatchy

My most relevant experience is being a business owner for over 30 years in Chilliwack. I am knowledgeable in infrastructure, and I know how sub-contracts work. I have practised fiscal responsibility and have upheld personal accountability. Planning for future infrastructure would be a strength I can bring to the table.

Bud Mercer

Four years ago, I made promises to the City of Chilliwack and was rewarded with their vote and their trust. Over these last four years I have learned how to get things done in this environment. Throughout my 45-plus years in public service, four of which as a city councillor in Chilliwack, my greatest attributes have been commitment and hard work. I never give up. When I committed to work, focus and deliver it gets done. I hope to share with you the successes and also the challenges and the work ahead. There is still work to be done. If re-elected my hard work and commitment will continue.

Jared Mumford

Due diligence. If being chair of the school board has taught me anything, it is that due diligence (working hard to understand the issue, consistent studying, engaging with stakeholders) will usually render the solution. Others at either sides the table may not always be happy with my findings, but they are above all else, fair.

Amber Price

For the past 24 years I have had the privilege of serving on many boards of influence, gaining the necessary skills and experience to effectively serve on city council. Working collaboratively at multiple tables has woven me deep into the professional community of Chilliwack, and allowed me outstanding opportunities to develop my governance skills.

As a successful small business owner I understand the incredible importance of prudent fiscal management. I am someone who believes in the importance of understanding many perspectives and knows the value of hard work. I also bring strong diversity, representation and advocacy skills to the table.

Jeff Shields

Thirty years as a chartered accountant, and four years on city council combined with a wide variety of community involvement provide me with a skill set that is unique among the candidates. I am the CFO of a large local company and on a daily basis, I am challenged with making the right decisions that are required to keep over 200 locals employed. My community work includes serving on numerous boards including Big Brothers, CEPCO, BIA, Cultural Centre, and Transportation Advisory Committee. Rotarian, soccer coach, and volunteer firefighter are also in there.

Harv Westeringh

I am involved in three different industries, so I have a unique perspective on things. I am also a team player, and I know that in order to get anything done, everyone has to give in a little. Over the last four years, I have gained a ton of experience at city hall. I believe we have been a very effective council. This was done through mutual respect. Everyone has different skill sets, and my experience with building, farming, and marketing made it a lot easier to grasp the many intricacies that make up the various committees that we are part of.

5. Why should local residents vote for you?

Ian Carmichael

We live today with the results of the choices made at council for the past four decades. We know the next four decades are bringing significant changes, to our economy, transportation, communications and energy sources, whether we like it or not.

We have a choice. We can continue on the path that has got us here, or choose a practical, pragmatic path to Better, Socially, Economically and Environmentally. We don’t need to be world leaders facing these challenges.

On Oct. 15 join with me and the community on the path to the future as we Work for Better.

Brent Bowker

Local residents should vote for me because I will listen and be able to speak on behalf of the city. I’m not afraid to ask tough questions and engage in debate to achieve positive outcomes. My focus is to continue to help guide Chilliwack in a positive direction: a city where families thrive, a city where recreation and active transportation is a core city function and one where taxes are not a burden.

Nicole Huitema Reid

I am passionate about keeping Chilliwack a great place to live and work through economic growth, financial stability and affordable housing. I want people to feel connected to their community and have all the goods and services they require available here. I want residents to feel safe in our community and be able to get where they need to go quickly and efficiently using the mode of transportation they prefer. I want to see our ALR protected and thoughtful development in urban areas. I want to ensure our city has expanded infrastructure to meet the needs of the growing population.

Christ Kloot

I am a team player, which is key for any council member, and I have been privileged to have the experience of being around the council table these past eight years. I would welcome the opportunity to continue contributing to moving Chilliwack forward in a positive way. I consistently demonstrate responsible, careful and fair leadership in making decisions within our city. I’m a listener and I believe meaningful dialogue is the greatest cornerstone in our city’s success. I am always striving to ensure we have a safe thriving city we can all be proud of.

Jason Lum

Serving you as a city councillor these past three terms has been one of the most challenging, but at the same time interesting and rewarding experiences I have ever had. I am very excited about the work that we have completed this past term, but there is plenty more to accomplish. I believe my proven leadership, the knowledge I have gained over three successful terms, and the skillset I bring to the role will continue to be an asset to the council team. I am optimistic for the future and look forward to building on the foundation of our growing, vibrant city. Oct. 15, Vote Lum!

Mike McLatchy

I’m well known for being a hands-on guy who gets things done. I’ m a hard worker and true to my word. Being an active member of the Chilliwack Fraser Rotary Club, I recently received a Polio Plus award. I am an active member of Chilliwack Fraser Charitable Foundation and Chilliwack Health Foundation’s 500 Club. I am a major sponsor of the Chilliwack Hospice Society, Children’s Charitable Foundation, and Chilliwack Community Services. Thanks to positive community support for my businesses, I have been able to give back to the community. I wish to give back more through a place on city council.

Bud Mercer

I have worked in service to Chilliwack, British Columbia and Canada for 45-plus years. Almost all of those years have focused on public safety both at home and abroad. It’s in my DNA to serve, Ive never known anything else. I’m proud to be a long term resident of Chilliwack. If re-elected I will continue my work and help make Chilliwack an even better and safer place to live, work and play

Jared Mumford

My extensive governance experience will allow me to fit into the role quickly and continue the good work that is already being accomplished by council. My 47 years in Chilliwack along with my prolific volunteerism provides acute insight into the pulse of this town. I pledge to be intelligent, compassionate and fair, and look forward to continuing to serve the residents of Chilliwack as I have over the past many years.

Amber Price

I believe in prudent and measured spending, responsible development that maximizes the use of available land, protecting our ALR and green spaces and investing in our infrastructure for both today, and tomorrow. We need to aggressively close the gap in affordable, stable and plentiful rental housing to ensure that we are combating poverty and preventing homelessness. We need to invest in affordable and reliable public transit. I will bring a unique voice to the council table; one that is committed to representing voices that are less heard and encourage equity and diversity at tables of leadership. We are better, together.

Jeff Shields

Each candidate has their own unique combination of knowledge, experience, and passion, much as I do. But after four years, I know in order to do this job effectively, you must also be a team player, have humility, be open to compromise, possess the strength to stick to your convictions, have empathy, and must never waiver from the principles and values that got you elected in the first place. Like any successful business, it’s about putting the right people in the right seats. I am one of those people and I promise to continue to support the right solution, not the easy one.

Harv Westeringh

I have a track record that I am proud of. I believe it is very important to keep our taxes the lowest in the Lower Mainland. Low taxes attract businesses, and it also retains businesses. Our tax multiplier for businesses is 2.2, which is also the lowest in the Lower Mainland. We have our challenges, but we have solid plans in place to tackle them. The four issues that I will continue to work on, are: Expanding the local economy, increasing housing affordability, protecting the ALR and supporting our local farmers, and crime and public safety. Please check out my webpage for more info.

READ MORE: All your Chilliwack Municipal Election 2022 Information

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