It’s a place Steve Drapala and his family are proud to call home, and the School District 83 educator wants to continue to keep making Armstrong a great place to live.
Drapala has announced he’ll seek a third consecutive term as Armstrong councillor in the Oct. 15 municipal election.
“I still feel passionate about the work that lies ahead for council and I hope that I am fortunate enough to have the support of the residents to continue this work for another four years,” said Drapala, who has spent the past several years in administration at Salmon Arm Secondary School, but now takes over the reigns as principal at Pleasant Valley Secondary in Armstrong.
Sustainability/sustainable development, attainable housing and increasing civic engagement remain a priority for Drapala.
“I feel as a council that we have moved these issues forward over the past four years but there is still work that I would like to see through over the next term,” he said. “There are people of all ages struggling to find rental housing in our community and we need to continue to search for a made-in-Armstrong solution by either approving the development of more rental units or the development of entry level homes to free up existing rental space.”
Any development, he said, must be balanced with sustainability.
“Increased development means increased pressure on our existing infrastructure, especially water and sewer,” said Drapala. “It has been a priority of council to continually make improvements to these systems but we can go further with looking at how we develop land to reduce the impacts of development on these systems.”
The last four years has shown everyone in B.C. that communities must work at building resilience to climate change, he said.
“On one hand the creeks that run through Armstrong create a vulnerability to flooding but we are blessed to have beautiful wetlands that will need to play a large role in this resiliency for Armstrong,” said Drapala. “The research on the benefits of creek/wetlands systems to create resiliency against flooding is well documented. We have now acquired Armstrong specific data, so the final step is to reflect this knowledge in the policies and OCP for the city.”
Fellow incumbent Paul Britton has announced his intention to seek re-election, while councillors Gary Froats and Jim Wright plan to step down.
Mayor Chris Pieper has also said he will not seek re-election in October.