Well, I did it. I picked up my Nomination Package today for the October 20 Municipal Election. I haven’t given it a close look yet, and clearly I have some extra-curricular reading to do in the next few days before I start seeking residents who will nominate me for a seat on Town Council. Just so you know, I need 10 Town of Princeton residents to sign my form. I also have to provide a $100 deposit when I submit the paperwork at Town Hall.
So, I have been putting a great deal of thought into local issues and I want to give you my thoughts on a number of them.
The Aquatic Centre
I am most certainly not against a recreational facility for the community. I believe that in order to attract new people to possibly move here we need some attractions. I’m not so sure that we need a $27-million indoor pool, and the ongoing operating expenses after it opens have me concerned. Otherwise, I see the way in which something like this can help to enhance Princeton.
The KVR Trail
You know, we live in an all-inclusive society. I think excluding any group access to something like the section of the KVR that cuts through town goes against that concept. I’m not suggesting that the gates are flung open and everyone has to duck or get out of the way. In fact, I see this differently. I have said for many months now that a twinning of the trail could allow all users access. But before such a plan is undertaken, I believe that in order to be all-inclusive, each of the groups that would use it be consulted and brought together to help create the solution that works for everyone. To me, that is the only fair way to work this situation out.
I’m not all that concerned about who owns it because in its current condition and location it is not doing much for anyone. At one point, I actually owned it – for a really, really short period of time – and if I owned it again I would probably put it somewhere where it could be enjoyed the most. To me, the Caboose is a piece of local history and it would be disrespectful to convert it into some kind of commercial operation. Again, I would consult with all concerned parties to try to formulate some kind of workable solution. Maybe that will happen in the future.
I’m not convinced that this is the most effective way to gauge public opinion on specific issues. Regardless of how much or how little it costs to host a referendum, it costs taxpayers something. As I am a firm believer in the use of committees, this is a better way to reach a consensus without having to take the referendum route. Yes, I know, you can’t appoint a committee on everything, but there are some issues that can be resolved by this method. I’m just not keen on referendums and the history of them in this area more or less backs up my position on this.
The infrastructure I’m speaking of is specifically water, sewer and additional public services. I like to think of myself as being proactive as opposed to being reactive. When I apply that to infrastructure I feel that water, sewer and utilities needing upgrading should be the Number One top priority of any Town Council. I’ll tell you why I think this way. It’s like building a house. You have to have a firm foundation in place first before you start the framing and construction that leads to a building as your final product. Without a firm foundation, the house is not structurally sound and can suffer damage in a variety of ways.
As far as I’m concerned, the water and sewer systems are the foundation that the community – the house – is built upon. When the infrastructure is not working right, it impacts that area of town. If we want the town to grow, that requires expansion. You know, new housing developments, subdivisions, things like that. If the current infrastructure is having problems holding up the community as it is, how is it going to hold up a bigger community? I just think the existing infrastructure needs to be in tip-top condition before we add to the community.
It’s no secret that we need some residential inventory here. As much as I’m pleased to see activity at the industrial/business park is going to bring about 90 new jobs to Princeton, I wonder where these people are going to live. Expect some out-of-towners to get jobs there as they already have places to live. This new industry should be a hint that there has to be more residential development in order to provide homes for new people coming here for new jobs. Don’t forget that the infrastructure has to be in place first. I also feel that there is a need for affordable housing in Princeton. There are a lot of residents living on fixed incomes this could address. But, before any of that can happen, the water and sewer system has to be at the point where it can handle all the extra work.
I like that the Chamber of Commerce is going through a re-building phase. They can play a key role in the marketing and promotion of Princeton and area. The Economic Development office could be working closely with the Chamber of Commerce on several marketing projects. However, at this point they are working separately. To me that is a waste of resources. By combining forces, both entities could achieve a great deal. Plus, with a strong working relationship, both the Chamber and Economic Development department grow in strength. I applaud the huge strides already made by both but logic tells me that if the energy being used was put in the same direction, there would be a powerful force in place. With that combination, tourists and investors would be getting the same message about the value of this region instead of two different messages.
I’m not interested in drama. I’m interested in working as part of a team representing those who elect us to Town Council. My goal is to help create a Princeton that meets the needs of those already here and those who will want to come here. I also understand that I am just one voice in that room. My intention is work together with whoever else you select to represent you on October 20 to turn Princeton into the community that keeps you here. I hope you feel the same way and consider me as one of the candidates to work on that. Thank you!
My name is George Elliott. I have been in the Media Industry since 1978. I spent 23 years in Broadcasting and worked in a total of six different radio stations located in southern British Columbia Canada during my career. In 2000 I switched gears and moved into the Print Media Industry at a small town, local weekly community newspaper. In 2004 I bought the paper and operated it with my wife, Brenda until July 2016 when we closed it. I launched a freelance web content and article writing business from my home in January 2014.