Two new faces, one incumbent and one former councillor were the last to throw their hat in to the municipal election for mayor and council.
Kevin Kruger says he is offering voters a fresh face with a fresh perspective in the race for council.
Kruger has lived in the community for the past seven years. When he’s not working as manager for Columbia Towing, or on his own auto detailing business, Kruger is either busy with family or with Sicamous Minor Hockey, with which he’s currently serving his second term as vice-president.
Kruger, who has no prior political involvement, says that if he is elected, he would like to see the district adopt a hire-local policy. Kruger notes, however, that he’s been educating himself on the workings of local government and that he realizes that he can’t promise to change things overnight.
“There’s a lot of things that I need to educate myself on,” says Kruger. “But in the long term, I’d like to see what I can do to help to grow the manufacturing industry.
What we have here now, we have to try to improve, make long term, not just two or three months of the year.
Kruger says he loves Sicamous and the small-town feel it offers. He would like to see that preserved, but at the same time he sees the need for some growth in order to provide for locals.
“We want to try and grow the district and fix some of the infrastructure. There’s some road issues that need to be addressed… You need to have a tax base to work from so you can do those kinds of projects.”
Asked what prompted Kruger to run, he noted his commitment to the community and his desire to make it a little bit better.
“I plan on making Sicamous my home, so I figured I might as well jump in with both feet if I can and try to get involved with the district, and try to add as much as possible,” says Kruger.
The decision to seek a second term was not as easy for Coun. Jerry Silva as it was other incumbent councillors. Asked why, he said he wasn’t sure he was ready to make the heavy time commitment that is required of municipal councillors.
Regarding his accomplishments with council, Silva is particularly proud of how, after a meeting with B.C.’s Solicitor General, Sicamous is well on its way to having an emergency rescue boat in 2012.
Silva has an extensive military background, having risen through the ranks of the Canadian Military Engineers to reach the rank of brigadier general, and was appointed Commander in the Pacific Area in 1990. Today, he is semi-retired, which means he is as busy as ever. He is the Emergency Program Co-ordinator for Revelstoke and the Operations section chief of the Shuswap Emergency Program. He has been an active member of the Eagle Valley Arts Council for six years, devoting much of his time to the Red Barn. Regarding the future of Sicamous, Silva says the “prudent combination of taxes, revenues, wise development choices and careful prioritizing can make a better community possible and affordable.”
It’s been three years since former councillor of two terms, Diana Stooshnov, has been involved in municipal politics. Her decision to run again for council isn’t being driven by any particular issues. Instead, she says its the other candidates running for mayor and council who have inspired her.
“I’m definitely not a seat warmer, and it looks to me like there’s some people running for council that are the same way and I think it would be really exciting to work with them, share some new ideas, kick some new things around and make some new and different things happen,” says Stooshnov.
Making things happen is exactly what Stooshnov has been doing in her work with the Shuswap Outreach Society and as a treasurer of the Seniors Centre.
“It’s been my pleasure to help the board and do my part to upgrade the Seniors Centre, the facility, with our community garden and our front door,” says Stooshnov. “It’s pretty much a full-time job actually to try to get enough money together to do all the things that we’ve done here.”
Stooshnov has a history of community service that includes work with the Sicamous Lions and the arena board. One of her proudest accomplishments was helping to keep the Seniors Centre from shutting its doors.
“There was a possibility at that time that they were going to shut it down due to their debt,” says Stooshnov. “I presented a succession plan to the seniors centre… and within 14 months the debt was paid off.”
Improving the lives of Sicamous seniors has been a constant focus for Stooshnov, that will continue regardless if she is elected to council.
“I think there is always room for improvement in our community to make it easier for seniors to get around, do their business, and live healthy lifestyles, regardless of their mobility. So I’m always looking for ways to make that better for them…,” says Stooshnov. “I think that all the councils have been supportive of that, and I certainly will continue on that same vein.”
Stooshnov says she’s always been an agent of change and is not stuck in the past. This attitude is part of what she hopes to bring to the council table.
“I’m more into looking at what we have today and what can we do to make that better for the community,” says Stooshnov.
Mayoral candidate Darrell Trouton may be new to politics, but that doesn’t make him a stranger to the workings of government.
Trouton has been a project manager with Hummingbird Resorts and Classic Builders, and is currently president of Jalita Management Corp. His background, he says, includes successful dealings with the North Okanagan Regional District, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, ministries of Forests, Environment, Health and Safety and Highways, B.C. Hydro, unions, First Nations and the Agricultural Land Commission, as well as professionals in civil engineering, structural engineering, planning and design, financing and business planning.
A longtime resident of the community, Trouton says he has devoted his time over the years to Moose Mouse Days, hockey, softball, dances and work bees, and that he enjoys working in a team environment.
“Instead of having an idealistic approach, I will meet and listen to the concerns and improvement ideas of the taxpayers, local business owners, non-profit organizations and the district affiliates, and then, as a team of elected officials, we will work diligently through the district staff and get the results this community deserves,” says Trouton.