Strong interest in the Chilliwack municipal election continues with 20 candidates coming forward.
Realtor and lifelong resident Brenda Currie, 55, said she has always wanted to serve on council, in part to expand the “business values” responsible for so much success in Chilliwack.
“At a time when we may be facing a worldwide recession, I don’t believe that it is in the best interest of any of us to risk losing our focus on creating jobs and helping our local economy,” Currie said in a release.
As mother of three boys, she’s cognizant of how crucial good-paying jobs are for local families.
“I’m going to do my part to bring those jobs here,” said Currie.
Attracting large employers to Chilliwack, like Stream, as well as more medium and small businesses, is part of her platform.
Currie, an avid charity-advocate, noted that Chilliwack is losing an “incredibly dedicated” woman councillor with the retirement of longtime member Pat Clark.
“I believe that council needs strong, business-minded women, like myself, to run and try to follow in her capable footsteps.”
Making Chilliwack healthier and more prosperous are part of Ron Browne’s election platform.
“Chilliwack is a caring community, a great place for business and a wonderful place to raise children,” said Browne, 67.
He’s been married to Nancy for 45 years and they have two grown children.
“Throughout my career in health care leadership, I developed strong teamwork in the organizations I led and the communities I lived in.”
A retired hospital CEO who spent 15 years as CEO of two Canadian hospitals, Browne has been a member of the Mayor’s Committee on Health for three years. As a local Rotarian, he chaired the Chilliwack Rotary Club’s health awareness committee. He also did a stint as Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, and holds a private pilot licence, volunteering as a spotter in the Civil Air Search Rescue Association
“I am eager to provide that leadership as a member of City Council and help make our city even better for our families and businesses,” he said in a release.
Job creation, maintaining low taxes, and crime prevention are Browne’s priorities. His website goes live next week at www.ronbrowneforchilliwack.ca.
Another member of the business community, Gord Kornelsen, 56, has expressed interest in vying for a seat on council.
Current owner of the family business, Fraser Valley Custom Printers, Kornelsen has lived in Chilliwack for 32 years.
His campaign includes working toward a “zero based” budget, and a cost benefit analysis for city spending.
“I believe in maintaining an affordable tax structure by using sound spending practices,” he said in a release. “By keeping infrastructure current and by fostering a positive business climate we can protect what we have today and keep it that way for generations to come.”
Kornelsen pointed out that family printing business has been a going concern in Chilliwack since 1979. He’s been a partner for 15 years, and owner for five. Successful business strategies will hold the city in good stead, he said.
“We must continue to encourage a vibrant downtown core while maintaining and expanding parks and recreation services,” he said.
The Greendale resident has been married to Adina for 37 years and they have four children. He’s been involved with Burden Bearers, Stillwood Camp, Chilliwack Rotary Club and Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce.
Ian B. Carmichael, 49, is taking a second run at winning a seat on council. He came in as the “first runner up” in the 2008 election, just behind Coun. Ken Huttema.
Carmichael has deep roots in the community “descending from the pioneer settlers of the valley who arrived in the mid 19th century,” according to his news release.
“Chilliwack is a dynamic and diverse collection of communities within communities. From Ryder Lake to Greendale, Downtown to Garrison, Yarrow to Rosedale, each in turn has unique qualities, challenges and opportunities,” he said.
As one of the fastest growing communities in B.C. it “speaks volumes about the confidence” everyone has in the future of our area.
In terms of challenges and opportunities facing Chilliwack, “There’s a prevailing sense that Chilliwack is facing an identity challenge,” Carmichael said.
Priorities include: a comprehensive review of the Official Community Plan (OCP).
“People love their community and are looking for an opportunity to participate in and provide input into the future development of the community as a whole.”
With the four latest candidates declaring their intentions this week, it now brings the total number to 20, with Andrew Brown withdrawing from the race. Carmichael, Currie, Browne and Kornelsen join candidates: Phill Bruce, Gerry Goosen, Dick Harrington, Garth Glassel, Jason Lum, Mitchell Nosko, Ken Popove and Ron Wedel. Also on the ballot are Michael Britton, Eros Chad, Roger Myers, Rob Stelmaschuk.
Sharon Gaetz is running for re-election as Chilliwack mayor, as are incumbents Sue Attrill, Chuck Stam, Ken Huttema, and Stewart McLean.
There are six seats on council, and one for mayor.
An all-candidates’ meeting is slated for Oct. 21 at 12:30 p.m. at the Coast Chilliwack Hotel as part of the 2011 Business Conference organized by the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce and Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation.