The candidates chat among themselves before the all-candidates debate. (Photo: John Boivin)

Meet Rossland’s city council candidates

We asked five questions of our council candidates, and here are their answers

Rossland residents go to the polls to vote for a new city council on Oct. 20. While they won’t be voting for a mayor — Kathy Moore was unopposed, and acclaimed last week — voters have plenty of choice for council. Twelve people have thrown their hat into the ring for the six available council seats.

To help you wade through the field, the Rossland News asked candidates to respond to five basic questions. Each candidate had a limit of 100 words to answer each question.

We ran half the candidate’s responses in our October 4 newspaper, and will run the rest in the October 11 edition. We’ll run half the candidate’s responses this week; the rest will be next week. The candidates are listed in alphabetical order.

On Oct. 18, we’ll have the school board candidate’s questions.

1. Tell us about yourself.

Deke Baley

Family man. Adventurer. Entrepreneur at heart. I spent many of my formative years on the Canadian Prairies, building a steely resolve, meeting my lovely wife Lindsay and raising our children, Logan, Cooper and Prism. We are an adventurous group that lives life to its fullest, which brought us to the paradise we now call home, Rossland. My life has been mainly in entrepreneurship roles that allowed me to run a few successful businesses, take on active roles in business organizations and mould my philosophies in motivating, connecting and communicating across a broad spectrum and understanding the human interactions in life.

Chris Bowman

Originally from Vancouver, I fell in love with Rossland at the same time as my wife Trinda introduced me to her hometown. After some time in Alberta, we decided to raise our children in this amazing community. Historically, I have had proven success in project management, team development and relationship building so once settled I began to quickly make friends and colleagues and have had the pleasure of leading large changes here in business, tourism and local enjoyment. This place and its people are the reason I look forward to help, in a larger capacity with a seat on council!

Caroline Enns

I was born in Mission and came from a small farm in Matsqui. I have the distinction of being the first female tree planter in British Columbia. In 1979 I visited Rossland for the first time and returned in 1984, where I worked at the ski hill for 24 years. The last 15 years at the hill I spent as a professional ski patroller. Since then my family has grown. I have two children and two grandchildren and they all live locally. After my employment at the ski hill I continued on to cook in three thriving restaurants, right up to the day of my accident five years ago.

Scott Forsyth

I moved to Rossland six years ago. Rossland has turned out to be way better than I expected, largely because of the people. Since moving here I have volunteered and supported the community in many ways. These include starting the ongoing Church of Dirt volunteer trail building group that built Drifter and Eddie J trails; sitting on the Kootenay-Columbia Trail Society and Tourism Rossland boards, coaching youth cross-country ski racers, doing sound for Joe Hill, helping organize the Rossland Music Camp, and working on a number of new cabins in Strawberry Pass.

John Greene

I am a born and raised Rosslander but spent 22 years in Alberta. I’m married and have two adult children who live in Victoria. I spent 10 years as boy scout leader in Alberta. We ran a hardware store in Rossland for more than 20 years and I have served three terms on the Chamber of Commerce, two as president. I have served on the museum board and Rossland Light opera board. I’ve skied all my life, am a former Red Mountain Racer and now serve as a snow host. I love the arts and am responsible for the Piano in the Park.

John Lake

I arrived in Canada in 1998. I met and married my wife Lenora and we moved to Rossland in 2000 soon after which we purchased our business XL Quality Industrial Services near Trail Airport. For recreation I enjoy cycling and sailing — I also collect LPs. I read a lot and belong to a book group here in Rossland. I’m a member of the Rotary Club of Waneta Trail and I sit on the metallurgical committee under LCIC.

Dirk Lewis

75 words about me, Dirk Lewis. I’m a dishwashing, wood-splitting dad for my young family in Rossland. I’ve been here since late 2004, came here for the mountain-biking and have been attempting to learn the fine art of skiing since. I own a small consulting firm that is headquartered here in town. I’ve found that my beard keeps me warmer in winter and reduces bug bites in summer. I am striving to improve my sustainability rating daily (environmental, social, grammatical).

Andy Morel

20 years as Rossland resident. Incumbent candidate, Councillor (2014-2018). Federal and provincial election candidate – 2008/2009.

Active community volunteer over past years. Served on a number of community boards in numerous roles. Education: Diploma, Recreation Leadership, Hospital Management, OHA. Retail business proprietor, outdoor – bike/ski – 12 years. General contractor/ carpentry experience. Nordic ski instructor/ trail groomer extraordinaire.

Janice Nightingale

I’ve owned a house in Rossland since 2003. I’ve lived in Rossland full time since 2012. Like so many people before and after me, I came for the outdoor recreation (skiing) and fell in love with the community. Before I came to Rossland I worked for UPS, first as a driver, then in their business development division and finally as an operations manager. I’m married, and have two married boys in their 30s, and three adorable grandchildren I can hardly wait to teach to ski.

Fletcher Quince

Growing up in capital cities across Canada I was fortunate to live in a home steeped in policy, not politics. From a young age I was enrolled in leadership programs and while completing an undergraduate degree in neuropsychology I was employed by the Alberta government in supervisorial roles from forestry youth to wildfire management, and ultimately as an incident commander. Upon completion of a Master’s degree focusing on emergency management systems in 2009, I moved to Rossland where I have been immersed in the restoration of the historic Bank of Montreal building amongst other community development initiatives.

Richard Soltice

Born in Penticton more than a few years ago into a family that valued work and instilled in me a work ethic that has grown and matured throughout my life. Longtime Rossland resident who has raised a family here and describes himself as gardener, landscaper, two-steps-above-half-assed carpenter, avid and devoted cyclist and skier, accomplished photographer and bicycle mechanic. A seeker of knowledge; curious about everything; informed; possessing an ever refining opinion and view of the world and our place in it. Committed environmentalist looking for workable solutions to this world’s problems and woes; committed to a local, community-based approach to solving larger problems.

Stewart Spooner

I’m 50 years old, and have lived in Rossland since 1992. My wife and I just demolished and rebuilt our home, where we plan to live out the rest of our lives. I’ve been operations manager with the Kootenay Columbia Trails Society since 2000, and am significantly responsible for the recreational trail network that we enjoy. I’m a founding director (since 2003) of the Friends of the Rossland Range Society, with which I helped create and plan the Rossland Range Recreation Site. I’m an active and passionate skier, ski-tourer, and mountain biker, and enjoy barbequed meats and hoppy beers.

2. What qualities do you possess that would make you a good councillor?

Deke Baley

From previous experiences, councils, like similar groups such as business organizations, are made up of a very diverse group with attributes that create a healthy dynamic. For my part, I see my strengths in the tagline I use on my email. Mentor/Motivator/Maverick/Connector/Cultivator of Ideas and Keeping it Real. The ability to listen to the issues at hand, whether from fellow council members, city staff, and most importantly, the people of Rossland, is at the forefront of a good councillor. From there, identifying the best and brightest, connecting and mentoring and motivating those people to ensure they succeed.

Chris Bowman

In my opinion a good councillor comes with many attributes. They must be visible, available and accountable. They need to have empathy, listen to and seek to understand the concerns of the community as a whole and be fearless in questioning everything. A good councillor believes in responsible government that works well as a team to improve and grow, setting the path for future. I have spent many years in business and management, learned from some fantastic mentors and have proven to myself that I possess these qualities and I look forward to the possibility to share.

Caroline Enns

I believe I have good listening and communication skills. I have been an active member of the community for over 34 years, and have volunteered my time at many different events. I do my very best to be prepared and punctual. I possess a very strong healthy vision of Rossland for the future.

Scott Forsyth

I have a strong ethical and moral compass that is essential for good governance and transparency. I am a critical thinker who likes to do research and verify others’ research before coming to my own conclusions. I am community-minded and have the confidence to stand for what I believe is the best path for our city. I listen well and look for common ground upon which to build consensus. I am open to new ideas and will change my mind on an issue if new information leads me to do so.

John Greene

I have a deep love of Rossland and am not a one-issue candidate but work for the good of the city. As a former downtown business man, I know the issues facing Rossland business. I’m approachable and a good listener.

John Lake

I am able to listen to differing points of view and logically make decisions based on evidence provided. I’ve developed this after 45 years of running my businesses, employing people and looking after clients.

Dirk Lewis

I get along well with others, am logical, and hard-working. I’ve worked in local government in the past, and spent the last 14 years working for local government as a contractor. This experience has given me a window into many different local governments. Owning and operating a business has honed my pragmatism. I would really like the opportunity to become more involved in our town.

Andy Morel

I have a / I am a: passion for community. Team oriented. Strong listener/ effective communicator. Seeks answers. Question decisions, recommendations and opinions of others for clarification. Research and educate self in regards to issues. Have own opinions and values that are important to me. Can change decisions and opinions with compelling arguments. Keep it professional, not personal.

Janice Nightingale

I am curious, and love to learn and find solutions for challenges. I’m persistent. My career experience helps me to look at the bigger picture, and to make long term plans, but not to be so rigid that I couldn’t adjust those plans when new information or circumstances arise. I’m not afraid to ask people who disagree with my viewpoint to explain theirs, and learn what and why they think the way they do. I enjoy working with others with different strengths than I have, as I believe it results in a better end product.

Fletcher Quince

Integrity, stemming from a belief that making the best decisions for those you represent and work with has little to do with personal preferences. Leadership, especially in the form of modelling behaviours and opening up the space for others to express themselves freely and honestly because they believe in the value of their input. Academic, research is core to ensuring a decision maker utilizes as many diverse points of view as possible, while the ability to critically evaluate information collected is central to the applicability of any decision. Forward Thinking and Strategic, the future is a function of our intentions.

Richard Soltice

I am informed, curious, respectful of others and thoughtful, and I believe listening is the first step toward addressing any issue. I care deeply about this community and would bring an approach serving on council that emphasizes consultation, respect for the opinions of others, and compromise where needed. I am a hard worker and committed to seeing any task through to its conclusion.

Stewart Spooner

I’m experienced in the processes of government, am engaged with the issues, and have a demonstrated capacity to find common ground and work towards practical solutions with a diverse range of people.

3. What do you see as the biggest issue facing Rossland and how would you address it?

Deke Baley

A comprehensive economic and growth plan is integral to Rossland’s future. Towns evolve throughout the years and creating sustainable plans to implement changes, measure successes and failures and discover alternatives results in a vibrant community. Many issues in Rossland at present can be individually managed with the backdrop of a strong plan. Affordable housing, recreation needs and infrastructure, having a plan that is flexible and within the city’s mandate and jurisdiction, creates measurable goals for council and staff. Communicating this to Rosslanders will help them feel ownership of the growth and change, as well as better understand the abilities of City Hall.

Chris Bowman

I think the biggest issue facing Rossland is housing. Although the market is gaining momentum there is a serious lack of inner-city density. That being said, I am a serious advocate for doing things right. What can be done, built, said, and attempted doesn’t necessarily mean it should be! I want to be a part of growth here, I want to ensure we follow the correct path so the future expansion of Rossland can accommodate the growth. Infrastructure, modern technology, services, economic and environmental impact all need to be considered. It is an exciting time.

Caroline Enns

Transportation is a big issue on the forefront of residents’ minds. As our city develops and tourism grows we have seen the addition of numerous new activities, services and accommodations. How do we help people to move around our city safely and affordably? Another issue on residents’ minds is housing affordability.

I have had thoughtful discussions with other homeowners regarding topics such as zoning, AirB&B and affordable senior housing. These issues all need to be discussed and addressed accordingly.

Scott Forsyth

I see recreation spending in general and the arena in particular as the biggest issue at this time. I have requested exhaustive information on the arena so that I can be well informed before making a decision. There are a number of options to be explored, and I think any decision has to be based on accurate information, including cost-benefit analyses, and fit into the context of fiscally responsible spending.

John Greene

The lack of affordable housing for the families living or moving here. There have been a number of proposals made to council for housing that I would like to see addressed with proper public hearings.

John Lake

I’m not aware of any major issues facing Rossland currently.

Dirk Lewis

There are a number of key issues, I feel the biggest is our infrastructure. It had been chronically underfunded and has not kept pace with climatic changes that strain it. Too often this is a result of promises to “cut taxes” – I do not believe this is wise, either in the short- or long-term. Asset upgrades and replacements are inevitable, this must be properly budgeted.

Andy Morel

Continues to be infrastructure replacement/upgrades. “Municipal Asset Management Plan.” Decades of lack of investment has created a substantial infrastructure deficit. Important that council and staff have an effective plan(Municipal Asset Management Program) to tackle the issues forward. With current assessments underway an long term plan is being formulated with dedicated tax funds being deposited to specific reserves. Having projects shovel ready ( completed engineering, cost estimates, etc.), we are in a strong position to qualify and lobby for Provincial and Federal grant funding opportunities. Recent successful projects include: Columbia Ave., Washington, Spokane/ Leroi.

Janice Nightingale

I think that the biggest issue for Rossland is how to manage the growth we are experiencing, and the demands it places on our resources. Our growth will create change and challenges in thecommunity, but I want to always keep in mind that council’s decisions should first and foremost benefit the people who make Rossland their home, and who elected us. We have a very diverse community, and diversity gives us resilience.3) I think that the biggest issue for Rossland is how to manage the growth we are experiencing, and the demands it places on our resources. Our growth will create change and challenges in the community, but I want to always keep in mind that council’s decisions should first and foremost benefit the people who make Rossland their home, and who elected us. We have a very diverse community, and diversity gives us resilience.

Fletcher Quince

This election will be a watershed moment for Rossland, with the biggest challenges stemming directly from the management of our own growth. A lot of the hard work has been done in addressing critical infrastructure upgrades and staffing, but the soft services associated with lifestyle, amenities and the retention of a sense of community authenticity will be challenged as tourism continues to increase alongside the completion of the Josie Hotel. As Amenity Migration puts pressure on our fiscal and recreation resources, improved mechanisms for local engagement and the genuine inclusion of community feedback in aiding decision making will be key.

Richard Soltice

Rossland faces many big issues: infrastructure; the future of the arena, affordability of housing; and managing growth sustainably. Infrastucture, however, is our foundation, and managing it well would help with most other issues. Too often, in our rush to get to the “new” we inadvertently toss aside much from the past of great value, failing to recognize this until it is too late. Growth in Rossland must be managed sustainably and thoughtfully, giving equal consideration to its proponents and those who want a slower approach. Rossland has an opportunity to become a model town: unique in character, sustainable by nature.

Stewart Spooner

Recreation funding and utilization of the Emcon lot are significant issues that carry over from the previous Council, however if current trends continue, then housing affordability, rental availability, community gentrification, and development pressure on the character of the built environment and our natural setting will create significant challenges for the next Council to address. There are no simple solutions, but to seriously engage with the issues, be committed to the values articulated in our Official Community Plan, listen to the people who are impacted, be open to creative collaborative solutions, and transparent in my decisions and reasoning.

4. What would you like to see changed at City Hall?

Deke Baley

From discussions with Rosslanders, I believe we have seen a positive change at City Hall. The current council and staff have managed many projects and, in my mind, been great stewards in moving Rossland forward. What I see for City Hall is more of a challenge. There are bigger issues to work through and the next council must provide the resources to staff and motivate them to create unique ideas and sustainable results.

I would like to help create an environment that encourages open, abstract thought and remove the “we’ve always done it that way” barriers that can exist, especially in government settings.

Chris Bowman

I am a big fan of breaking things down to see if they are working right. Routinely, City Hall has been the center of attention (as it is with most communities). I believe there are great things that come out of our city, all departments seem to be synergistic, I also believe they have good leaders in place who can make a difference and I look forward to the opportunity to work alongside them. My focus will be to enhance the communication and assist in developing a strategy to foster strong relationships with our neighbouring communities.

Caroline Enns

I am currently unprepared to comment on this particular question.

Scott Forsyth

In general, I think Mayor Moore and council have done a great job of getting Rossland back on track and I want to continue the momentum and direction they have set. There could be better communication. There is a lot of good information in the council meeting packages that could better promoted and made more accessible. The Rossland community is already very engaged, but they would benefit from better information.

John Greene

We have an excellent staff at City Hall but the workload is huge and I worry that we may lose some of them so I would like to find a way to reduce their workload.

John Lake

I don’t know enough about City Hall operations to enable me to comment about changes there. It will be great when they are able to return to the real City Hall.

Dirk Lewis

Through the prism of my own experience, I can only say good things about City Hall. I know many of the people working there and admire the thoughtfulness and dedication they bring to their work. I’ve also worked closely enough with local government that I understand the frustrations that are inherent in that work environment.

Andy Morel

Physically, a new or newly restored City Hall to start…. Administratively, City Hall has undergone substantial positive change in the past 4 years. A new Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Financial Officer have provided Rossland with strong personnel and financial management skillsets – policy and procedures reviews and upgrades. Regular and consistent public reporting to Council has increased confidence and accountability in staffing decisions and work plans. Very pleased with the quality of work and efforts our staff, at all levels, contribute to our community. A real TEAM effort!

Janice Nightingale

I would like to bring a consistency of approach to decision making, and encourage more investigation by council members to have better understanding of our options and their costs, both short term and long term. Our community groups all provide benefits to our community well above and beyond their monetary costs, and deserve the support –fiscal, vocal or administrative – of council to help continue to bring a diversity of opportunity and cohesiveness to our community. Together, they all make us a stronger more attractive community for residents and visitors.

Fletcher Quince

For me change is an ongoing process not a final result, so much of what I would like to see continue to evolve within City Hall over the forthcoming term relates to ensuring ongoing efforts are made to increase the scope and style of public engagement activities, and the maturation of those mechanisms which facilitate a movement towards the institutionalization, at least notionally, of direct democracy. One change that has not get begun to take shape and I am interested in furthering is improvements to Rossland’s relationship with the Trail Resident Program.

Richard Soltice

We currently have pretty good government in Rossland. We should all recognize that. But even after all of the surveys, questionnaires and forums, City Hall still fails to connect and consult with a lot of its citizens, and the results are often disappointing. As a councilor, I would like to be both approachable and approaching, meaning that as much as residents seek me out, I would seek them out as well, soliciting their concerns and wishes, filling a bit of gap that currently exists.

Stewart Spooner

I don’t see things that way. I see my role more as part of a continuum, taking my turn to contribute to the best of my ability.

5. What do you hope to accomplish by the end of your term?

Deke Baley

One accomplishment will be to educate myself on how City Hall operates, gain insight and ideas from staff and fellow council members and ensure cooperation is at the forefront of business the city does. The adoption of a comprehensive growth and economic plan is also a main goal for me. I would like to create better partnerships with our business community to map out the growth plan.

As with everything, the world changes, which creates opportunities. Capitalizing on our positive attributes, the opportunities available through a connected world and our business’ expertise and insight, sustainable employment and investment can provide growth.

Chris Bowman

Four years is not a long time. I hope to carry the torch from the existing council and assist in creating the path to even better service to our community. There is no silver bullet that will make everything rosy and there’s no crystal ball to see the future.

We have a solid base to work from and the continuation of the good things that are being done now coupled with the anticipation of greater things to come is what I am excited about. Vision, hard work and dedication to the task will get us there.

Caroline Enns

I would like to promote cohesion between the Red Mountain residents and the downtown community. Also perhaps better transportation between the two. I would like to see our facilities such the arena being used to its full potential. And I want to ensure that Rossland stays Rossland.

Scott Forsyth

I have no personal agenda beyond leaving Rossland well positioned to thrive into the next term.

This means building on the work the outgoing council has done. Our Official Community Plan is 10 years old and is in need of renewal.

I would like to see this done in the coming term. The recreation budget and arena issue need to be resolved to the benefit of most Rosslanders.

John Greene

I would love to see the Trail Resident Program problem with Trail solved.

John Lake

I hope to be an effective councillor by contributing to discussions and meeting any challenges with fellow councillors to ensure meaningful outcomes for the greater good.

I would like to see movement towards affordable housing for young families who are the future of Rossland and for older folk who may wish to quit their larger homes and move into more manageable dwellings.

Dirk Lewis

If I could help foster a productive and harmonious council, while helping improve asset management policies and financial planning, then I would be happy. The ultimate goal would be to have this lead to a simple working environment, from a policy and planning perspective, for City Hall and the next Council.

Andy Morel

  • Completed Infrastructure Assessment and work plan (Municipal Asset Management Plan) with realistic completed projects.
  • Continued planning, development and build out of Mid-town Transition Lands (old Emcon lot).
  • Operation upgraded water treatment plant constructed with Warfield and Trail partners at Waneta.
  • City Hall building strategy – repair, replace, relocate?
  • Recreation facilities assessment and planning.
  • OCP and SSP review and update.
  • Continued growth and development of all levels of City staff to optimize resources for our community.

Janice Nightingale

At the end of my term, if I get an opportunity to serve, I would like to have 20+ year plan in place to guide our community forward through growth in a way that serves both our budget needs (infrastructure maintenance and upgrades) and our social needs (services and facilities) so that Rossland can be as attractive to it’s current and new residents then as it is now.

Fletcher Quince

By the end of this term I would like to have made meaningful progress towards the provision of improved and integrated preparedness and sustainability systems within the community, and the region as a whole. This is a broad topic, relating as much to food security as it does wildfire and medical first response, but these all share a common thread: regional collaboration. As such, I would hope to be able to contribute significantly towards the establishment of a series of mutually beneficial relationships with other communities in the Lower Columbia Region that reflect Rossland’s forthcoming requirements alongside its continued growth.

Richard Soltice

If I am elected, I hope to be able to look back in four years and feel that I have made a positive difference for Rossland, having moved this great city closer to its goals of sustainability, livability and attractiveness. The one big thing I would like to accomplish however, is to keep Rossland’s arena intact and open so that future generations of kids can learn to skate there, that hockey can be played by anyone wanting to play in their home town, and that curlers can gather for a bit of recreation and socializing.

Stewart Spooner

There aren’t particular issues that motivate my candidacy, I’m just determined to provide well considered, fiscally responsible, evidence based, community focused government.

 

More than 200 people showed up at the Miner’s Hall on October 2 to hear the candidates talk about themselves and the issues facing Rossland. (Photo: John Boivin)

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