Candidates share their views at a well-attended all-candidates forum on Tuesday night. (Rick Koch photo)

Chase council candidates meet the public at open forum

Five people seek mayor’s chair, six vying for council

Chase voters got the opportunity to meet the people hoping to represent them on village council or as the mayor at an all candidates forum hosted by the Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 9.

The Chase Community Hall was packed with more than 200 people eager to hear candidates’ views.

Written questions for the candidates were submitted beforehand and the council and mayoral hopefuls had an opportunity to share their backgrounds and views on pressing issues with the audience.

Introductions began with Alison Lauzon, who told the crowd she has lived in Chase for more than 20 years. She added she has a strong belief in community service and she has served as president of Chase Minor Hockey for over 10 years and also serves as treasurer of the Chase and District Fish and Game Club.

Lauzon was also a Chase Citizen of the Year recipient for 2017.

She said financial responsibility would be a top priority if she is elected.

The next to speak was Steve Scott, an incumbent councillor, who asked the assembled Chase voters for patience and understanding for another four years as council continues its work. He said land-use planning would be a priority if he is elected and he expressed a desire for Chase to expand, with more commercial, residential and light industrial spaces.

Ali Maki, another current councillor seeking her second term, told the audience she moved to Chase in 2012 and started a small business; she pledged to be an advocate on council for the business community if elected.

Maki spoke of several community projects she has worked on but said her time on the Chase skate park committee was the most memorable because of how the community came together to see the project through to completion.

Maki pledged to be fiscally responsible, accountable and forward thinking as well as continuing to advocate for safe highway access to the village with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI).

Jon Walker, a resident of Chase since 1994, kept his address to the assembled crowd short and sweet. He simply told them how he raised a family in the village and promised to work hard for its people if he is elected.

Fred Torbohm spoke of how he has lived in Chase for almost 60 years and of his long career as an RCMP officer dealing primarily with highway patrol and collision analysis.

Torbohm is also active with the local curling and golf clubs. He says he has lots of experience dealing with MOTI, which he hopes will be of use as the highway expansion project through Chase proceeds.

Also putting his name forward for a council seat is Jim Dunn, a relatively new arrival, who moved to Chase just over a year ago.

Dunn told the crowd he is a Royal Canadian Legion member and he hasn’t met a bad person in Chase since moving here.

Dunn has experience in a variety of fields including working as a police officer

He added he is a people person who will not neglect public input and he is a quick learner.

The next to speak was Harry Danyluk who is seeking to return to the mayor’s chair after losing the mayoral race to Rick Berrigan in 2014 by just under 200 votes, is a former RCMP staff sergeant who spent 13 years on Chase council, including nine years as mayor.

Danyluk said his greatest achievement during his time on council was bringing the Adams Lake Lumber Mill into the village boundary as a satellite area, netting an additional $138,000 in tax revenue per year.

He said his platform going into the election is controlled spending to build up reserves. He said he would put an emphasis on road work that hasn’t been happening lately. Under his leadership, he said Chase would spend on what is needed not what is nice.

Rod Crowe took his time at the mic to speak about his varied work experience, which included teaching at BCIT and his volunteer work with the Adams River Salmon Society.

Crowe said he believes in transparency and wants to see council meetings streamed or video recorded and made available online.

He also voiced his support for safe highway entrances and exits to the community as well as an OCP revision and an extended-care facility in the village.

David Lepsoe, a longtime councillor running for mayor in the upcoming election, said he is doing so after hearing the concerns of residents about a number of issues, particularly a large tax increase.

Lepsoe made a point of saying he voted against the increase.

Rick Berrigan, Chase’s current mayor, spoke after Lepsoe. He said he has lived in Chase for 20 years and spent 10 years on the local fire department, including six as the chief. He also spoke of his political experience – six years on city council and four as mayor. He went on to speak about projects accomplished during his time in Chase’s government, including the new washrooms in Chase Memorial Park, maintenance to the sewer lagoons and upgrading the Chase fire hall.

Beverly Iglesias said she is a longtime area resident who has had a successful career as a realtor. She worked with the Chase Lions Club on the successful splash pad project and as a fundraising director for the Chase Heat.

She said Chase needs a mayor to engage all sectors and foster teamwork.

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