Part 1 – Nelson Star
There are 10 candidates vying for six city council seats ahead of municipal elections on October 15. In part one, we chat with Jesse Woodward, Jesse Pineiro, Ainsleah Hastings, Brenton Raby, Kyle Wilkinson, and Rik Logtenberg.
Part two will include interviews with Kate Tait, Keith Page, Glenn Sutherland and Leslie Payne.
Jesse Woodward is seeking his second term on the board.
He says he is proud to have promoted and supported several initiatives over the past four years: the Nelson Next climate plan, the e-bike funding program, the cycle route, the emergency operations center and the COVID-19 financial plan. from the city.
One of his priorities for the next council, Woodward says, is something that never would have occurred to him when he ran four years ago: keeping the city’s capital reserves healthy. health. These are funds set aside each year for unforeseen future needs such as building and repairing infrastructure.
He says he also wants to continue the work of preparing Nelson for more severe weather.
“We need to avoid jumping from one type of weather crisis to another and have a comprehensive response and make sure we have the budget to deal with it,” he says.
When it comes to affordable housing, Woodward says council “must continue to try every avenue possible – infill and densification, and continue to partner with BC Housing.”
Woodward says he wants to continue to align nonprofits, the social service sector, and the city to respond well to homelessness and food insecurity. He cited the Coordinated Access Hub as an example.
Woodward says he runs because “I really like the work. I find this to be the most direct and concrete way to help my community.
He worked for seven years coordinating Nelson Markets before being elected in 2018, and now works as the food bank coordinator at the Nelson Community Food Centre.
Raised in Winlaw, Woodward has lived in the area since 1999 and now resides on the North Shore.
Jesse Pineiro thinks the city should give landlords a reduction in their property taxes or sewer and water fees if they rent out their property long-term rather than turn it into an Airbnb.
He says the city spends a lot of energy making Nelson a nice place to visit.
But if the cost and housing shortage in Nelson continues, he says, “it’s not a community anymore, it’s a giant hotel…like Whistler.”
Pineiro has lived in Nelson since 1995 and graduated from LV Rogers Secondary. He is the owner of Nelson Boxing Gym and in 2021 was named the city’s Sports Ambassador.
He says housing is inextricably linked to other issues such as employment, mental health and policing.
“99% of the people on the street do nothing wrong except be poor. And the hysteria surrounding it is damaging to everyone. It’s not illegal to be poor in public. But it’s illegal to shit in the street, to sell drugs and to be aggressive with people.
Pineiro therefore believes that Nelson needs additional police officers, or security guards who work for the police, with mental health training.
Pineiro also likes the city’s Nelson Next climate plan.
“But I think we have to be careful about the solutions we offer, because global warming affects everyone, whether or not you have the money for solar panels or an e-bike. Are the solutions we offer accessible to people?
Pineiro stressed that he is a newcomer to politics, that he does not have all the answers and that he likes progressive solutions.
“I want to be realistic about what we can achieve, but I also want to be positive.”
He says he attended three board meetings.
Ainsleah Hastings says she represents a demographic that doesn’t normally sit at city council tables.
“I am a young woman from the tenant class,” she says. “I am part of a generation that is very rarely heard from and will also be the most affected by climate change, housing insecurity and food insecurity.”
She has experienced housing insecurity, she says, living as she does on the North Shore after two years of trying to get housing in town.
Hastings, 39, grew up in Nelson and graduated from high school here, then lived in Vancouver for 15 years. She now works as the office manager of Big Cranium Design.
She says she loves the city’s partnership with BC Housing which produced three affordable housing buildings and she would work for more. She says she approves of fellow candidate Jesse Pineiro’s idea of giving landlords a reduction in fees and taxes if they rent out their spaces long-term rather than turn them into Airbnbs.
Hastings says many ski resorts and resorts offer short-term accommodation in the form of hostels or monthly one-bedroom apartment rentals, and Nelson should take that into account.
She says that as a singer, musician and writer, she would support the arts.
For greater food security, she would like to see rooftop gardens throughout the city centre.
Mental health services are a provincial responsibility, she says, but Nelson needs more, “and it’s part of the advisers’ responsibility to lobby the province for these things.”
Nelson needs more and better public transit, she says. Realizing that this responsibility is shared between the city, the province and the RDCK, she would push for improvements.
Hastings says she attended “a handful” of city council meetings.
Brenton Raby says he follows urban development and planning issues in Nelson closely and is familiar with the processes and requirements. His time on the city’s Planning Advisory Board and the Board of Variance would add depth to the council’s development discussions, he says.
He also says he has the ability to work with major capital projects such as the sewage treatment plant, the proposed new library building and the planned backup battery storage for Nelson Hydro.
Raby works for the Central Kootenay Regional District as a parks and trails maintainer. He owns a downtown building in which he recently opened a coffee shop that is also an ice cream maker and retailer. He hopes to transform this space into a cannabis drinking café when provincial regulations allow it.
The city needs to improve its cleaning of drug paraphernalia in parks and public spaces, and should hire more people to do so, he says.
“A lot of people in the community are on their own – we have to clean up the mess, we have to confront people or talk to people about their use which may be happening inappropriately.”
The city should work with Interior Health, he says, to create a safe drug use site that is “not restricted by building location or hours of operation” and “not just for injection but for inhalation’.
He wants Nelson to enroll in WildSafe BC’s BearSafe program, which has a five-step process for keeping bears safe in the community.
Nelson Hydro should have a board of directors, Raby says, given its importance to the city budget.
He says he has attended all board meetings for the past four years.
Kyle Wilkinson says he’s running for council because, “I’ve always had a passion to be part of our city on a larger scale, in a way that would allow me to bring my strengths to the table to align individuals and support this city and how it can flourish.
When asked if he had any specific issues or initiatives he would present or support as an advisor, he said no.
“I am not a politician. I am a father. I’m a businessman. I want to listen to our community. And I want to align the right people and collaborate as a team, thinking of all perspectives.
Wilkinson has worked as a store manager at the Kootenay Co-op for the past six months. Previously, he worked as Assistant Store Manager at Save-On Foods in Nelson for nine years.
Asked what actions or decisions of the current board he supports, Wilkinson said he couldn’t think of any.
He said he wanted to see “more inclusive collaboration in boardrooms and in board meetings, and to really listen to our community.”
He said he doesn’t know how much the current council has listened to the community.
“For me, it’s not about whether it works or whether it doesn’t. This is all has an evolutionary process.
Wilkinson said he had never been to a council meeting and had no knowledge of the city’s revenues and expenses.
Rik Logtenberg is running for his second term on the board because he has unfinished business there, he says.
Above all, he is thinking of integrating Nelson Next, the city’s climate plan, into the official community plan.
“It’s really going to force us to think about how we prepare this city for the next decade,” he says.
Logtenberg hopes to continue working with the Climate Caucus, a national organization of municipal leaders he founded.
He says he was also instrumental in creating the city’s e-bike fundraising program and active transportation plan, and wants to move them forward.
Logtenberg wants to promote energy efficiency and waste reduction and says individuals get better feedback on their habits. Smart meters, currently being considered by Nelson Hydro, would do this for energy consumption, he says. The kitchen countertop dehydrators for organic waste that will be piloted in Rosemont starting this fall, as part of a program he helped create, will give residents feedback on their organic waste habits. of waste.
Logtenberg represents the city on the West Kootenay Transit Commission and says he’s proud of the plans for the transit interchange on Victoria Street as well as the transit app for tracking buses.
“I’m really excited and pushing hard for daily shuttle service to Salmo and back, which transit exchange is needed to facilitate.”
Better public transit, along with new bike lanes and improved walkways, will improve the parking situation downtown, he says, and he wants to solve all of these problems at the same time.
Three things he says he is proud to have been involved in include the establishment of the city’s emergency management office, the new Selous Creek water main and the city’s role in wildfire mitigation work in the Selous Creek area.