Waddington makes bid for seat on Chilliwack council

The 24-year-old owner of Mt. Waddington's Outdoors store on Vedder Road is eager to tackle the various challenges facing Chilliwack.

Local business owner Sam Waddington plans to run for Chilliwack council in November.

Sam Waddington is the first one out of the gate in Chilliwack to declare his intention to seek a seat on city council this fall.

The 24-year-old owner of Mt. Waddington’s Outdoors store on Vedder Road says he’s eager to tackle the various challenges facing Chilliwack.

“I’m invested in Chilliwack in every way,” he told The Progress Friday. “I grew up here, I went to school here and I have a business here.”

He headed out after graduation, travelled internationally and then came back to settle down.

“I put down roots here. I’ve also put my trust in this city as the place where I most want to live, work and play,” he said.

He’s been watching the decision-making processes in Chilliwack with interest, and will be ready to become a council candidate once the nomination period starts in October.

“I love what we have here in Chilliwack, and with that love comes some responsibility. I want to ensure I do my part to continue to make it an even better place, and especially to make sure the things that people love about our community are not lost. I will do my best to provide a steady hand at the helm as we grow.”

But why declare his intention this early in the race?

He felt he either had to increase his participation in local politics or step back. Declaring this early in the election process will also give potential voters an opportunity to seek him out and tell him their concerns and priorities.

“It gives the community a chance to give me some feedback in the coming months about what types of issues matter to them,” he said.

His top issues include downtown revitalization, transit, and solidifying Chilliwack’s tourism position in the region.

“I would also love to see Chilliwack city hall move downtown. I think that would make a definitive statement about revitalization.”

He’s been thinking about running for council for a while.

“The past two years I’ve been getting more involved in my community,” Waddington noted.

He’s been attending council meetings regularly to watch how the city conducts its business.

He’s a Rotarian, and a member of the Chilliwack Community Arts Council board, as well as local Outdoors Club board. He was a spokesperson for the Save the Paramount Group, when residents were coalescing in an effort to stop the demolition of the Paramount Theatre.

“I want everyone to know I’m not running in reaction to anyone or anything. It’s not to unseat or oppose anyone. I’m going to run in the belief that I have some thing to offer this city.”

Regardless of the team eventually assembled by Chilliwack voters, Waddington says he’s confident he will be able to work with them.

“For me this all started with the love I have for this town. It is a truly unique place with its blend of urban, agriculture and wild spaces.

“I don’t believe the city is on the wrong track, but it could take a better one,” he said. “There’s always room for improvement.”

Chilliwack is at the stage of growth where it is seeing a lot of opportunities present themselves.

“I think our future will be determined by how we handle those opportunities. We will have to be very mindful about how we grow.”

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

twitter.com/chwkjourno

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack wades into backyard chickens in urban areas

Permit came with several conditions and can be reconsidered by council

Big Bar Landslide saw long awaited blasting this week

Pressure has been on senior governments working with First Nations to remove blockage for months

Two prolific offenders from Alberta lead RCMP on chase across Fraser Valley

Men first reported in Chilliwack ending with allegedly stolen vehicle in an Abbotsford pond

From the Chilliwack Progress Archives: Fearing an Aryan invasion

In 1995, Chilliwack Mayor John Les was concerned about the idea of an ‘Aryan Fest’ coming to town.

COLUMN: Trying to look forward while looking back

Reader suggests re-running a 2015 Times column after recent racism towards Indigenous people

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Winds up to 70 km/hr expected across Metro Vancouver

Winds are expected to subside overnight

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

Fraser Health warns some schools of possible COVID-19 exposure

A sixth COVID-19 patient is a woman in her 30s in the Fraser Health region who recently returned from Iran

High-risk sex offender cuts off ankle bracelet, on the loose in Vancouver: police

Vancouver police said Kirstjon Olson, 38, is a provincial sex offender with 27 court-ordered conditions

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Most Read