I am really pleased to have been re-elected as a third-term Councillor in the October, 2018 election! With a healthy mix of new and returning faces to Council, there is much for our new Council to do in the next term.
In terms of my background, I grew-up in Calgary where I completed school before moving to Edmonton where I obtained a BSc in Forestry from U of A. After graduating, I spent the first 16 years of my career with the Alberta Forest Service in several postings around the province. During that time I was fortunate to have an opportunity to return to university and completed a Master’s degree in Forestry (Wilderness Management) from Colorado State University.
I moved with my young family to Invermere in 1992 to assume an Operations Manager position with the former Invermere Forest District, BC Forest Service. I held that position from 1992 through 2006 and was ultimately responsible for the East Kootenay region. In 2006, I moved into a newly created position as the Provincial Manager for the Ecosystem Restoration Program also with the BC Forest Service. Following 35 years in government, I retired from the Forest Service in April, 2011. I had a great, varied and rewarding career working with many outstanding staff in East Kootenays and throughout the province over the years that I am deeply thankful for! In retirement, I have continued to take on interesting natural resource related contracts and Board positions around the province.
In addition to pursuing my career in the Forest Service, I served as a School Trustee with the Rocky Mountain School District for four terms (1999 - 2011) where I also acted as Board Chair for several years. I stepped down from the School Board during the Municipal elections in 2011 when I was elected to my first Council term in order to focus on my DOI Council responsibilities. My involvement as a School Trustee with our education system, students and excellent staff was a tremendous life experience!
My two children were raised in Invermere and, as a result, I have always been active in giving back as a volunteer in many community activities. I am a past-president of the Columbia Valley Old-Timers Hockey Association, past-president of the Windermere Valley Minor Baseball Association, coached minor baseball for ten years and the DTSS High School Baseball team for many years, and as the School District rep I served as co-chair for the Mt. Nelson Athletic Park development committee. Since my retirement I have continued to represent the community as volunteer on Columbia Basin Trust 'Environmental Advisory Committee' and on the 'Technical Review Committee' for the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund.
I'm excited to be the re-joining DOI Council for my third term! That said, there are many issues in the upcoming term that will require Council's thoughtful, fair and balanced leadership and consideration including: fully operationalizing the new multi-use Columbia Valley Community Centre; planning and securing funding to continue replacing our aging town infrastructure; developing creative strategies to help address our rental and affordable housing shortfall; determining the best future use for the old community hall site once the building is demolished; continuing to encourage and support local economic diversification and development in town and throughout the valley; maintaining our fire protection system including reducing our wildfire risk; and ultimately, determining what future role (if any) the town will have in securing the long undeveloped Lake Windermere Resort property in Athalmer.
The above said, in the process, without a doubt our Council has to continue being mindful of maintaining and/or enhancing our unsurpassed quality of life, which is the reason why many residents live in Invermere!