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Two Rosslanders outline their vision as next city councillor

A byelection will be held on Nov. 28 to determine who gets the position
Advanced and general voting in the byelection will take place at Miners’ Hall. Photo: Chelsea Novak

Fletcher Quince and Terry Miller have put their names forward to run in the Rossland city council byelection on Nov. 28.

The byelection was scheduled for earlier this year to replace outgoing councillor Scott Forsyth, however the COVID-19 pandemic delayed it for months.

Rossland News spoke with the candidates to find out why they thought they’d be the best person for the position.

Fletcher Quince

What inspired you to run?

Continuity, I’d say. I was already scheduled to run in the byelection and the provincial election gave me an opportunity to raise awareness for the mixed-use development project and bring some of the issues that people had about it during debates. As president of the Rossland Ratepayers Association, I’ve also helped to raise some concerns that RRA members have had about issues going on in the city. It’s nice to have their support as they wanted me to run in some way on the municipal level.

What would be your vision for the city as a councillor? What do you want to accomplish during your term?

I think right now we’re at the point where the city can slow down. I think Rossland has done a great job in growing, building and creating a reputation for itself like any resort or municipality that caters to tourists and other people moving here from larger urban centres. I think we can encapsulate a lot more value if we slow down and look at the projects that we’re committing to. From a financial standpoint with COVID-19, there will be a big change to the tourism industries that are here and I think fiscal responsibility is critical for this community over the next few years. The city’s Official Community Plan is also getting rebuilt and revised and I think there’s a pretty strong voice in Rossland that isn’t represented at the council table. I’ll bring that voice on behalf of small businesses and the families who’ve been here for generations that want to see the city that they’ve grown up in protected.

How have you been involved in the Rossland community over the years? How would this experience benefit you in the position?

Art, heritage and business have been the three main reasons as to why I’ve been involved in the community. I’ve built up the Rossland Art Gallery (RAG) and restored it to be a significant heritage property in the province. I’ve also done business in the community and have gotten to know the interests and concerns of the population. By living in the downtown core, I’ve met everybody and I recognize that if I’m going to be on council, I’m going to have a voice for the entire population and not just the small groups people relate to and interact with when they’re not doing business and in the social centre. For example, we’re seeing a road being put around the backside of Red Mountain and the city is planning to acquire it and pay for the maintenance to plow it. That’s going to come at the cost of people’s city streets. People working at Teck versus people trying to get to a ski hill parking lot are very different people you’re marketing and catering to. As someone who’s lived and operated a business in Rossland over the last 11 years, that voice and consideration for the historic interest of Rossland is why I’d like to be a councillor. Maintaining and protecting art and heritage that has a huge amount of value in the city is also important to me.

Why should people vote for you?

I’ve invested heavily in this community over the last decade and it would be everyone’s benefit to integrate more of our businesses’ interests at a local level, rather than those of Red Mountain and other big employers. I want to bring together all of the mosaics of Rossland.

Quince operates Quince Tree Enterprises in Rossland and is also the curator at the Rossland Art Gallery. He also ran as an Independent candidate for Kootenay West in the recent B.C. election.

Terry Miller

What inspired you to run?

I’ve been actively involved in the community over the many years that I’ve lived in Rossland. I’ve put my head down for the last six years or so and felt that it was time to step up and make a contribution to the city again.

What would be your vision for the city as a councillor? What do you want to accomplish during your term?

I think Rossland is very well positioned these days. Both city staff and council have a great asset management plan in place and this city has been able to attract many people to town that have been able to pick-up our lifestyle here. We’re in a good spot and I just want to make sure council has their hands on the reigns and can continue to guide the city’s growth in the years to come. I think I can really help council manage how they move this city forward.

How have you been involved in the Rossland community over the years? How would this experience benefit you in the position?

I’m currently on the Official Community Plan steering committee. We’re taking another run at rejigging our strategic plan for the future. I think that’s a critically important piece and I’m directly involved in that right now. The city asked people to take part in that and I was one of the 10 selected to participate in the committee. I’m part of that exciting process to see where we’re heading as a community. I also worked on the city’s Sustainability Commission between 2009 and 2017. I helped council bring their strategic sustainability plan to life and the commission was one way I brought that to action. I was also the chief cook for the mountain bike festival for 10 years and it included the North American championships where we had 200 volunteers and 400 participants around the country. I was part of that community building during my time with the bike festival back in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

Me and my wife were also in the retail business for a while and we had Canada’s first book store and espresso bar in Rossland. That gave us great experience running a local business.

Why should people vote for you?

I’ve got a broad background of experience with community activities. I’ve been part of a lot of things that have had a positive impact on the community. Professionally, I’ve spent the last 20 years helping organizations and people facilitate conversations and help them come to terms with their tricky decisions. My day job as an emergency preparedness coordinator with Interior Health is helping people with diverse decisions come together. I help our health care system get ready for fires, floods and of course the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m a good listener and I think I’d be able to hear all of everyone’s opinions as a councillor and make well informed decisions. I see myself as steady hand to guide the community. That’s another piece of what I can bring to the table on council.

Miller’s office is in Trail and he works regionally around the South Okanagan and Kootenay Boundary.

How to vote

People can participate in advanced voting in the byelection on Wednesday, Nov. 18 or Wednesday, Nov. 25 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Rossland Miners’ Hall.

People can also vote for the candidates on general voting day on Saturday, Nov. 28 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Rossland Miners’ Hall.