Current District of Sicamous Council. (District of Sicamous photo)

Five Sicamous councillors confirm they will seek re-election

Janna Simons will decide whether to run before nomination deadline

The group which successfully campaigned as a team in the 2014 Sicamous municipal election, winning five of six seats on district council, will try to repeat the feat in the upcoming election.

Gord Bushell, Jeff Mallmes, Malcolm Makayev, Colleen Anderson and Todd Kyllo campaigned as a team in the last election.

Bushell said the decision for the whole team to run again is based on a desire to see projects and priorities started in their first term through to completion.

“Things are slow, not as fast as we like to see things move, but I guess we all had our eyes opened to bureaucracy and how politics runs,” Bushell said of the learning process he and his fellow councillors went through over the last four years.

Related:Sicamous votes for change at municipal office

“We have lots of irons in the fire right now and we’re getting some traction and we feel we can contribute more change for the next four years.”

Bushell said he and his running mates really want to get more industry and year-round employment into Sicamous over the next four years. He said if elected he wants to focus on selling Sicamous to business people in hopes of creating more jobs for the area.

He noted that Sicamous already has relatively low development cost charges and said he wants to work on lowering the financial costs of setting up a business in the district even further in the coming council term.

Recreational projects are also a priority for the present council. The rail trail and the community campground project north of the Eagle River have both made strides over the past four years.

“We really want to see the rail trail get developed, that’s going to really help our off-season, our spring and our fall stuff,” Bushell said.

Going forward Bushell said that affordable and seniors’ housing will be priorities for the coming term if the group is elected.

Related:Kyllo top spender in Sicamous election

Makayev said district staff are working on a housing needs assessment and a strategic housing plan. He also said he is happy with the current council’s accomplishments getting the roundabout built and purchasing 200 Main St. to add more usable green space to Sicamous.

One of Makayev’s portfolio items is health care and on that front he said he thinks purchasing the current medical and dental clinic on Finlayson Street is an important step towards attracting another doctor to the district.

Mallmes said the impression the last four years has made on him is that bureaucracy takes time and projects move forward more slowly than he and his running mates expected when they were first elected. He said he is seeking another term in order to see projects such as the community forest and a walkway along the channel completed. He said it has been a successful term for Sicamous council, noting that of the list of 18 strategic priorities council had at the start of the term, between 10 and 12 are now completed. A further nine projects were added to the priorities leaving plenty of work still to be done in the coming years.

Coun. Janna Simons, the sixth member of Sicamous’ council whose campaign for the council seat was not associated with the other five, said she has a lot to think about and remains unsure if she will seek re-election.

Mayor Terry Rysz announced in March that he will be seeking re-election.

The nomination period for the district council election runs from 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 4 until 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14.

General voting day for the election of Sicamous’ mayor and council is Saturday, Oct. 20.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

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