Taryn Dixon plans to reach out far and wide as the new Electoral Area H director for Fraser Valley Regional District.
“We’re thrilled to have our own electoral area,” she said.
She is ready to get to work.
“One of my first priorities will be to learn quickly,” said Dixon, with the plan to tap into the vast “knowledge and wisdom” of the electoral area directors’ committee leadership.
The newly created Electoral Area H covers Cultus Lake, Lindell Beach, and Columbia Valley, the result of dividing the vast area formerly covered by Electoral Area E, which now is contained to the Chilliwack River Valley.
Dixon was elected to the Electoral Area H director position in the Nov. 15 FVRD elections, earning 171 votes, compared to Maxwell Newhouse with 131, and 109 for Rolf Soth.
“This is the level of government that’s closest to the people,” Dixon said about the local government services of the FVRD. “I am one person. I want to know what’s on their minds.”
She’ll be networking with various community groups, and individuals, to assess needs and determine which projects are of interest, and how to bring them to the larger FVRD board attention.
“I see my role as increasing the connectivity between all the partner groups in the area,” she said.
The splitting of Area E made sense, she figures.
“It was a very large geographic area for one person to represent,” she said in an interview with the Progress, adding that the respective needs of the communities are different.
Electoral Area H represents 1,784 residents, while Electoral Area E covers about 1600 residents in the CRV, so it was almost an even split.
The creation of the new area is “an opportunity to concentrate” on the concerns of Cultus, Lindell, and Columbia Valley residents, along with those on the FVRD side of Lumsden road.
The areas around Cultus Lake, outside of Cultus Lake Park, are undergoing some rapid development changes, and there may be challenges arising.
“We’re embracing the changes that are coming, while ensuring we are being true to the Official Community Plans.”
They will continue to build positive working relationships with Soowahlie First Nation.
How does she her role and work as Electoral Area H director complementing that of Cultus Lake Park Board, and City of Chilliwack?
“I see myself as one person on a strong team. There are projects the whole area is working on, through the work of CLASS for example.
“The health of Cultus Lake is one of the topics I heard about in every corner of our area. That will pull us together.”