By Ken Alexander
More than 100 residents filed into The HUB auditorium for the Ashcroft All-Candidates Forum on Oct. 3.
There appears to be a keen interest about who is going to be sitting around the council table and making decisions on how taxpayers’ money is going to be spent.
The Village of Ashcroft is in an interesting place for a municipal government.
The only incumbents from last term’s council are Alf Trill and Barbara Roden and they have given up their councillor chairs to take a run at the mayor’s position.
Sandy Agatiello has joined them for the top position.
Not only will Ashcroft have a new mayor, but whoever wins the election will have to guide the councillors who will be new to the job.
Five people are vying for the four councillor chairs – Deb Tuohey, Marilyn Anderson, Nadine Davenport, Jonah Anstett and Carolee Lizee.
There will be a steep learning curve and they’ll likely be looking to staff for some guidance.
The councillor candidates expanded on their answers to The Journal questionnaire during their opening statements.
There was a common thread in that they would work together and listen to what the residents want.
Their key items for Ashcroft were economic development, housing, job creation and promotion.
Trill talked about the accomplishments while he served on council, including the new fire truck and the building of the water treatment plant.
If elected, Trill said he wants to work on the Inland Port and the Ashcroft Terminal, and provide good leadership at the council table.
Roden outlined her volunteerism and municipal government awards.
Noting she was the most proactive councillor at the table. Roden said she provided a lot of new ideas and changes for the Village.
As mayor, Roden said she would work for new and varied range of housing, an off-leash dog park, and dedicated seniors housing.
Agatiello said she decided to run for mayor because Ashcroft didn’t have a community plan during last year’s wildfire season.
Noting she would work hard for the community, Agatiello said she has been doing a lot of reading, studying and taking courses to prepare her for municipal government.
Agatiello added she wanted to fix the “disconnect between the community and the municipality.”
Candidates were asked questions about their vision for Ashcroft and steps to make it happen; what changes they envision; how they would promote Ashcroft; how they would promote Ashcroft’s brand Wellness Awaits You; recycling bins return; zero waste policy for Village; planning safe space for youth, specifically LGBTQ and First Nations; Curling Club support; funding support for The HUB; council meeting attendance; shortage of rental housing plans; legalized marijuana impact on Ashcroft; and more.
Residents are encouraged to check out all of the candidate’s interviews by going to Happening at the HUB website and clicking on the 2018 Municipal Election candidate videos.