We are getting requests for information about the election from people in other communities or who are not currently in the area. Many people will be using the mail-in voting option and the net offers their only solution. An effort was therefore made to contact all three candidates at the end of last week and an e-mail was sent to the last known address of each of them. Charles Weber promptly indicated his intention to respond before the end of the weekend (as requested), and Bob Coyne sent in his answers right away. The third was returned undeliverable.*
It is now Monday and this article must go up as promised. It is unfortunate that not all of the three candidates are making themselves available on-line to the community and thus those who cannot physically be here at this time. Nevertheless, if any response is received after this, it will be added to this article as an update. Update: We have received a response from Charles Weber. Here then, is what we have so far:
Bob Coyne: Thanks for the opportunity to answer the questions that you have put forth for the benefit of your readers.
1 – How do you plan to support our individual communities and their differences?
BC: We have 7 distinct communities in area H . I believe that the only way to deal
with all these communities is to meet with each group both individually and in some
cases get representatives of all groups together to discuss issues as they arise.
2 – What committees and community groups have and do you participate in here?
BC: I have served the last 3 years on Brads advisory planning committee. Which is
where I first became interested in the workings of the RDOS. I am the president of
China Ridge Trails and have been a very active member for about 15 years, I teach
cross country skiing every Saturday at no cost to anyone that shows up. I spent many
years as the local CUPE representative for the Town of Princeton employees. My wife
and I were very active in the local Fall Fair for many years, we were also very
active with 4H for 25 years.
3 – How should the Community Forest money be divided?
BC: The community forest money is going to be a very important decision that
we the people of Area H are going to have to deal with. There is going to be a lot
of money come in for a few years then it will probably be a lot less. This is
based on discussion with one of the planners. I would meet with reps from all the
communities to come to a plan that would work for the majority. I personally think
that this is a rare opportunity for most of our communities to invest in
infrastructure. I understand that any money being spent from the forest corp. must
be approved by the board of directors of RDOS.
4 – What do you say to the people who feel threatned by the recurring Princeton pool issue?
BC: As far as the pool issue is concerned we had a referendum weather or not to
build a pool, both the people of the town of Princeton and residents and land
owners of RDOS, said No. There is no proposal at this time to reopen this
discussion. If there is ever a reasonable proposal put forward it would again go
to referendum for the residents and land owners to decide if they would support it
5 – Are the 46% who are not full time residents equal to those who are here all the time?
BC: To the 46% of land owners who are not full time residents of course you are
equal to the rest of us that live here full time. As land owners you have the
opportunity to vote in all elections or referendums. The seasonal residents are
of a great importance to the overall economy of our region, they all shop while
here and support the local trades.
Update: Charles Weber has sent in his answers:
Charles Weber: Let me make an effort to answer some of the concerns you have asked about as editor of the Coalmont Courier.
1. How do you plan to support our individual communities and their differences?
CW: Currently, there is a process in place to support these communities that the current director has been using. Most of these communities have community clubs, fire departments, ratepayers associations etc. and they have regular meetings where “the orders of the day” are discussed, Minutes taken and concerns forwarded to the elected Director. I plan to continue that process. As well those communities will have access to the Advisory Planning Commission that will be in place to support and advise the Director. Access for support for the various communities in Area H should not be a problem.
2. What Communities and community groups do you participate in here?
CW: Presently, I am involved in a number of groups in the community and enjoying all of them. Bev and I are both involved in the curling club and curl at least once a week and I sometimes curl twice a week. We are both avid bridge players and play bridge once a week and I am currently teaching a bridge course for beginning bridge players. Bev and I are avid cross country skiers and cannot wait for the snow to fly. Every year for the past five years we take a group for an overnight trip to the China Ridge cabin. Always a challenge, and always a huge hit with the participants. I also belong to the to the Vermillion Forks Field Naturalists and currently sit on the board as the vice president. I also have a membership in the Museum Society.
3. How should the community forests money be divided?
CW: The community forests money is currently shared between the town, Area H, and the Upper Similkameen Indian Band. I am not entirely sure how much money is in that account for Area H and would only be going by hearsay were I to hazard a guess. Any use of funds or commitment of funds would have to involve a consultative process with the whole of Area H. My understanding is there is a substantial amount of money from the community forest fund.
4.What do you say to the people who feel threatened by the recurring Princeton pool issue ?
CW: Princeton is in need of amenities if it is going to attract Doctors, health care professionals, and necessary professionals to the community. The community of Princeton is most likely going to forge ahead and pursue a pool and they will approach Area H for support. At that time Area H will have to make a decision. Using the APC (Advisory Planning Commission) people will be consulted and asked their opinion. Any venture into the pool will have to be affordable, not involve a huge tax increase, well managed , on budget, and have people behind it. Area H will not commit to a project that does not have substantial outside funding, provincial funding and support from industry. Resources have been taken out of this area for far too long and little has been returned. Time a few things changed.
5. Are the 45% who are not full time residents equal to those that are here full time?
CW: Of course, Ole. I am surprised you would ask such a question. We are all equal and the strengths of one group should enhance the strengths of another. I see very little reason for those groups to be polarized and will work to bring the residents and non-residents closer together.
* Four hours of intensive internet research and many attempts at telephone communication over a period of several days, has not resulted in contact nor information about Jamie Frandsen which is directly relevant to this article.