Ashcroft Candidates – Al Mertens for Councillor

Al Mertens is one of six candidates running for Council in Ashcroft.

  • Oct. 30, 2014 9:00 a.m.

1. How long have you lived here? My 44 year history in Ashcroft started when I first moved here with my parents in 1970. I graduated from A.S.S. in 1975 and then moved away for 18 years. I returned to the community with my wife and children in 1993. We have made our home here since.

2. What is your occupation? Retired, after a 35 year career in telecommunications technologies with BC Hydro.

3. Have you done any volunteer work here? Which group(s)? Over the past 21 years I have assisted various local groups, including 1st Ashcroft Scouts; South Cariboo Minor Soccer; Ash-Creek TV Society; E-Fry Children’s Festival; Rodeo Parade Committee; Fall Fair; Soup’s On and others. I continue to be involved where I can in support of disparate groups and events.

4. Have you served before on a Town Council or School Board? No. This is my first venture into local government.

5. Which issues are most important to you? The future livability of the Village. With a predominantly elderly population, mobility issues are of major importance. Inefficiencies, these must be reduced to make better use of limited financial resources. Status quo is no longer satisfactory, new approaches are needed to move forward. Village Council must be accessible and pro-active in all aspects of Village operations. It must set direction.

6. How would you address them? I would press Council to take a positive attitude to problems and suggestions brought to its attention. It must accept input from all sources. We need solutions and not excuses. Council should not be afraid to try new ways of getting things accomplished.

I am very sensitive to seeing what I perceive to be inefficiencies. I need to have logical answers to questions, not just “that is the way it is” responses. We should not be afraid to ask, “Why?” or to look for better ways to do things. This is a role I am prepared to fill.

7. Additional comments: It takes hard work to move forward in a well thought out, positive manner. I pledge to do all I can to achieve a better future for the Village of Ashcroft. We must work co-operatively with all stake-holders in finding efficient solutions to issues that affect us. This includes liaising closely with our regional neighbours, provincial and federal governments and worldwide partnerships. We must act locally, but think globally!

Sitting back and waiting for others to fix “our” issues will not get us anywhere, except further behind. Let’s all work together in moving Ashcroft into a better future! I encourage everyone eligible to vote to do so at one of the advance polls or on Saturday, Nov. 15.

Al Mertens