Get to know the candidates for 2011 municipal election – Trail council

Get to know the candidates for 2011 municipal election – Trail council

  • Nov. 14, 2011 7:00 a.m.

With the 2011 municipal elections on Nov. 19, the Trail Daily Times has offered candidates in each community the opportunity to express in their own words responses to three questions posed by the editorial staff.

Why are you running for election?

What is the biggest issue facing your community?

How do you hope to resolve that issue?

Candidates were given a maximum allotment of 500 words for their response. Some reached the maximum while others opted to be more succinct.

Some submissions have been edited  for brevity and space.

Leading up to the municipal election, the Times will print the responses from candidates in Trail, Montrose, Fruitvale, Rossland, Area A as well as candidates for school trustees.

Today, the Times will highlight the candidates for Trail council. Mayor Dieter Bogs has been returned by acclamation leaving 10 candidates vying for the six council positions. Due to space limitations, five candidates’ responses are available today with the remaining five in Tuesday’s edition.

Sean Mackinlay

I am the youngest candidate at 30 years old, but I feel I have the fire and drive in me to start this process and hope the citizens of Trail will help me do that

The most common response I get when people learn I am running for city council is one extolling how great it is that a younger person is putting their hat in the ring.  For the last few years I have been in Trail I have seen the strange extent to which opportunities seem to present themselves to the community in forms of development or job opportunities.  I think that is the most important thing I can use as an election issue, the fact that we need to have more of a focus on building Trail into the 21st century and not just being content with the status quo.

I look forward to working on council to help create a ‘buzz’ around the revitalization of not only our downtown core, but the overall populace too.  It seems there is a strong sense of history, but not a vision of where to go from here, and I hope to be a part of shaping that in the coming years.  Trail, as a community, is at a crucial turning point and only by taking advantage of all the changes in our community and making those opportunities for the city as a whole can we really make a difference and that is the voice I want to bring to city council.

The biggest issue facing Trail today is not a lack of voices of what we need to do, but the will to get it done.  There is a fond nostalgia that many people have for the way that many of the places in the city were once run, or the amount of traffic that was downtown et cetera.  That nostalgia is a nice feeling but we need to move beyond that and live in the present and focus on bringing our city into a new century with new jobs and new opportunities.  Change is not easy and is not without a few pains but I think that the people of trail have reached the point where they know that this has to happen, and soon.

As part of my campaign I think the best way to resolve this issue is to create a new focus on the future and work towards that, not relying on the past to keep us going.  We need to aggressively confront the problems that are in front of us and make Trail a destination for the best and brightest of the next generation.

We need innovation in Industry, new developments in residential areas for both younger families and retirees, and we may need to work with other levels of government to make this happen.

Fred Romano

I have lived in Trail since 1953 and have been married for 38 years to a Trail girl Lynn (Dimock).  We have three adult children, Adam, Leah and Laura. I completed the Business Administration course at BCIT and began my work career with West Kootenay Power in downtown Trail and then took a cost analyst job in 1979 at Teck. I retired in 2010.

I feel the current Council has made great strides in improving our infrastructure, investing in our parks and playgrounds and partnering with community groups on major projects.  All these improvements make Trail a better place to live.

The new Council has the opportunity to set a direction that will lead Trail into the next century.  We are fortunate to have so many volunteer groups that are working hard at  revitalizing our downtown area, securing attainable housing, improving our airport, increasing  tourism to our area, expanding our workforce, completing the north-south corridor, and taking advantage of the assets of the Columbia River.  I will continue to support their efforts to improve our community.

A committee is working on a plan for a Columbia River, Heritage and Science Centre that will celebrate our City’s social, cultural and industrial heritage.  This project has the potential to be a major visitor attraction and an economic stimulus to our community. Projects that come forward from these committees are going to add additional costs to City budgets in the next three years.  Council will face a challenge at both the 2012 strategic planning session and the 2012 Budget deliberations to accomplish all of our goals without a major increase in property taxation.  I know with my experience on Council we can get it done.

My major focus for the next three years will be improving the economy, job retention and creation, addressing the social and cultural needs of the residents of our community, improving the environment, promoting the livability of Trail and continuing to replace our aging civic infrastructure.

At the regional level, the regional sewer mediation, the start of the Liquid Waste Management Phase II Plan to build a new sewage treatment plant, adoption of the Airport Master Plan, existing regional sewer line relocation across the river and the review of changes to the regional transit system are all very important to our community.  I look forward to continuing to represent your interests at the regional table.

Other issues Council will have to deal with at the Provincial level that may have an impact on the City include review of the Contaminated Sites legislation, the Provincial Industrial Tax review and the RCMP policing contract negotiations.  I will work hard to ensure your interests are protected as these issues move forward.

Visit www.fromano.net for more details on my campaign.

Rick Georgetti

I was born in Trail and have lived here most of my life.  I retired from Teck Cominco in 2009, serving as president of the United Steelworkers Local 9705, serving in that role for nine years.

I am running for Trail City Council because I believe we need new ideas and new people willing to stand up and speak out for the citizens of Trail – it’s time for a change.

I believe one of the biggest issues facing Trail council is a way to attract people to the downtown area.  How do we do that? I don’t believe another study is the answer, there has being at least four done in the past and I don’t believe we are going to get anything new with this one.  I also don’t believe increase parking fees did anything to get more people down town, in fact did the opposite.  To solve this issue we don’t have to reinvent the wheel, we simply have to look at the weekly outdoor market in Rossland during the spring and summer and the car show in Nelson, those are the things we need to do to attract people to the down town area.  Once we do that, it is then up to the merchants to attract people into their businesses.

Ray Furlotte

I have worked as a municipal councillor for six years

There are many areas of growth that have to be addressed such as down town revitalization, infrastructure and building  stronger relations with our neighbouring communities. The area that I would like to address is the building of stronger relations between our neighbouring communities. I have lived in three local municipalities and work in local schools in all of them. I know the people, their philosophies and communicate well with their residents. Civil communication is key to the healthy growth of our extended community. When we have local functions or emergencies that require the gathering of all of us, I will make it my responsibility to be heard as well as to hear the wishes and concerns of all the parties and try to get us to work together to resolve the issues at hand. Working together will give us a bigger voice at the provincial and federal level.

Eleanor Gattafoni Robinson

Born and raised in Trail and proud of it. Two terms on city council. Community minded and support a lot of nonprofit groups and volunteer at Kate’s Kitchen, Trail Smoke Eater Spud Shack, United Way, Fair, Sunshine Day Care and many others. Active member of my church which is “Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church”. Also Council member at St. Michael’s Catholic School Very humbled and fortunate recipient of the Trail-Warfield Citizen of the year in 2009 for outstanding community service

I am running as a candidate for Trail City Council to give back to the community I fully love and where I was born and raised. I am hoping to make a difference and leave a legacy of prosperity to the younger generation, “our future.” There are many issues for me and to pick one is quite difficult without fixing on “aging infrastructure” moving forwards is challenging. Little by little we have to get this done as it is only going to get worse and it definitely wouldn’t go away.

To solve this hopefully, I say hopefully with some provincial help, grants and our city budget and hard work.

Gord DeRosa

I have lived and all of my many years here in this beautiful river valley. Bev,  my wife of fifty years, and I have raised three children. Trail has provided our family a comfortable and affordable lifestyle for three generations — think, is there any better place on earth?

We really do have a lot to be thankful for, natural beauty surrounds, well-paying jobs are again obtainable with thriving sustainable industries. Our City is fiscally sound, delivering the expected and obligated level of services at a reasonable level of taxation. The CIB and their army of flower planters has transformed Trail’s image into one of delicate beauty.

There can never be room for complacency however. Councillors must have a vision for the future, while at the same time protecting what we already enjoy, being ever vigilante. Without fostering and nurturing we could very well lose the gains of past Councils.

My reason in running for yet another three year term on Council is so that I might stay engaged.

My experiences gained from serving on numerous and varied offices in local government and related organizations have prepared me for continued proficient representation. I want to show leadership and add my voice on your team, directing Trail in your best interest over the next three years.

There are exciting opportunities staring us in the face.

So, what is in our future?

A priority of this new Council has to be to get on with developing our /your river front property. In the heart of down town, at a time we are looking to rejuvenate, an extensive multi-purpose housing complex would be the “silver bullet” we have been waiting for!

I also continue to firmly believe in a new direction for not only Trail, our city I’m dedicated to, but the whole of the lower Columbia valley. A new governance model is now more than ever before attainable. We really don’t need five mayors and 26 councillors to govern 20,000 residents. I see no fear in determining the pros and cons of us joining with our neighbors.

There is strength in numbers. I’ll bet dimes to donuts we can amalgamate with a “win-win” outcome. I’m thinking there is so much more that can be done for much less. Our internal boundaries are constraining, erased I clearly see a thriving border town, a grander entity—- we would be the envy of others.

This could be a pivotal time in the history of our City.

Kevin Jolly

Kevin is 42 years old and the Branch Manager of Kootenay Savings Credit Union in Trail. A resident of Trail since 1999, Kevin’s local political experience has focused on serving the community in  volunteer leadership roles such as the President of the Kinsmen Club of Trail, Executive Chair of the LCCDT (Lower Columbia Community Development Team) and Chair of the City of Trail’s DOAC (Downtown Opportunities and Action Committee). For more information go to www.kevinjolly.ca

After spending several years working in leadership roles with various community organizations in Trail, (Kinsmen, Lower Columbia Community Development Team and City of Trail’s Downtown Opportunities and Action Committee) it became apparent to me that while these roles are very rewarding and much can be accomplished in a volunteer capacity, the greatest degree of influence and change can only be affected by being directly involved in the political process.

There are many significant issues facing Trail council and our city’s residents such as improving inter-municipal relationships, aging infrastructure and a less talked about but very serious indicator of a community’s overall health, and that is an attainable housing shortage. The greatest issue in my opinion feeds into the issues mentioned above and that is an aging baby boomer population that is about to exit our industrial workforce at a rate of 150-200 people a year over the next five years. We need to retain these retirees in our community and create a vibrant and welcoming city that will attract new families to our area who can replace this aging demographic in the workplace.

The revitalization of Downtown Trail is a key component in the successful renewal of our local workforce and retention of these retiring workers in our community. Understanding that local government doesn’t create jobs; it is important to recognize that they are responsible for creating the right conditions for job growth to take place.

An integrated approach to economic development that recognizes social, environmental and cultural factors must be considered in the development of any revitalization effort for the downtown and our community at large. We can no longer afford to address our social and economic challenges in isolation because they are both highly connected and must be treated as such.

This hybrid-approach to community development can begin with the creation of a Community Engagement Committee that functions as an ongoing dialogue between the City and the residents of Trail. We need to hear the voice of our community as we develop this strategy together. I also plan to engage the social organizations in our community in this process of renewal to ensure that the voices and ideas of all Trail residents are heard. Simply put, more collaboration is required.

Finally, I would initiate a development and commercial bylaw competitiveness review that would compare the current development processes and regulations in Trail to our neighbouring communities.

Robert Cacchioni

Robert Cacchioni’s wealth of political experience includes Parks and Recreation Chair (6 years) Library Board Director (9 years) Education Advisory (6 years) Police Services (6 years) Athletic Commission (6 years) Finance Committee (6 years) Urban Wheel Park (2 years) Negotiating Committee for Recreation Agreements. Prior to that he has experience as a school trustee (18 years) president of local teachers association (six years) and many other roles in the community.

I decided to run for re-election for City Council because we are in the midst of a wide range of initiatives and negotiations that will impact the citizens and tax payers of the City over the next three years.  There are major projects ongoing and planned and many of them fall under the various portfolios that I am responsible for.

We have a two million dollar upgrade to the Aquatic Centre, major upgrades to Bilesky and Butler Park, new playgrounds and washrooms at various city parks, the urban wheel park project the sewer/water pipe bridge with a pedestrian crossing, the development of the downtown Esplanade and the proposed library/museum expansion in terms of programs and physical space.  Coupled with these major projects we have boundary expansion and amalgamation which will be critical in order for us to expand our footprint, provide land for development and diversify our tax base so we can become less dependent on Class “4” industrial revenues.

This leads me to the question of “What is the biggest issue facing Trail?”  To this question I refer back to the need to enlarge our footprint to include outlining areas such as the Waneta lands all the way to the Waneta Dam, the joining of Trail, Warfield and hopefully Rivervale and eventually Montrose and area.

This expansion will allow us to keep our taxes in check and allow for major projects such as the new sewer treatment plant to be funded over a larger area with a wider and more diversified tax base.  I believe that with these expansions everyone will eventually benefit with respect to not only lower taxes but also improved services for all.

With respect to this issue we will need to ensure that all the areas to be connected are dealt with fairly and that the “expansion” process is open and transparent so that all interested parties have the information they need before decisions are made.

The area that should be addressed initially is the Waneta expansion proposal where there is land for development and apparent willingness on the part of the tax payers and business interests to form some kind of union.  The other outlying area amalgamations need to be addressed as soon as possible.  As to costs, the first step will be to secure an agreement on the proposed sewer/water line second crossing hopefully with a pedestrian walkway.  Eventually, the new sewer treatment plant will have to be dealt with and here, with a wider population and tax base, it can be dealt with within reasonable tax rates.

I would ask the readers to review my brochure and or visit my web page at www.rcacchioni.squarespace.com as to specific initiatives and proposals.

Bryan DeFerro

Bryan is 57 years old. He has never held a public office and served briefly on the library board.

I have run twice before and at the urging of several people have decided to try again.

I would like to bring some new ideas forward and make an effort to help the city achieve some of the success that our neighbour Castlegar has.

In my opinion the biggest issue facing a Trail council is keeping what we already have such as the Regional hospital.

There are those that say the hospital will never move due to huge costs involved and I say we must maintain our vigilance on keeping the hospital in Trail.

It would be foolish and arrogant on our part to assume this will never happen.

The issue that will get the most air time is what to do with downtown  Trail. On that subject I would hope to be a small part of a solution that works well for the stakeholders and most importantly the taxpayer.

On the issue of the hospital we as a community have to do what ever it takes.

On the issue of the downtown revitalization I would hope we will listen to all ideas and make sure we get it right the first time and create something that works for the whole community.

John Carter

I am only 84 years old. I was 40 years in successful business in Trail with about five years on the Merchants’ Association.

The reason I am running for Trail Council is to rescue the Old Bridge. It was closed a year ago because the Engineering Dept decided it should be closed.

It was in full use the day before with no problem. I want to get on Council and make a motion for a 100 per cent review and test of the Old Bridge, to prove it is still good and strong.

To me this is the main issue in Trail, for the improvement of business downtown and to cut down the flow on Victoria street Bridge on to Bay ave.

The Old Bridge has a new walkway

It is only a few years old and is a good steel walkway.

Even today it should be open to us that like to walk the bridges and the beautiful park and Esplanade along the beautiful Columbia River. This would also cut down on the terrible accidents on the Victoria St Bridge.