In the Oct. 25 issue of The Journal, we spoke with the newly elected council members in Cache Creek, Clinton, and Ashcroft. We were unable to get in touch with newly-elected Clinton councillors Sandi Burrage and Kim McIlravey until recently; here’s what the two first-term council members had to say about running for office, what the concerns of Clinton residents are, and what they want to see in the Village.
“I think that when you believe in something, you put your money where your mouth is,” says Burrage, when asked what made her decide to run in this year’s municipal elections. A resident of Clinton for 26 years, she adds “I belong to so many groups in Clinton, and wanted to contribute some positiveness.”
Because she is so busy—she’s also the Strong Start facilitator at David Stoddart School, and runs the after school sport and arts initiative program there—she wanted to make sure she had the time to commit to being on council. She says she was assured she could do it.
Over the course of the campaign she heard from the people of Clinton. “They want to see the beautification of Reg Conn Park, more businesses, and stability for families. They want to see secure housing, and jobs for people to go to. People say that Clinton is a great place to live, then add that they have to move elsewhere for work.”
She adds that getting fibre optic capability in the Village would be a huge benefit. “So many people work from home, and it would mean people could work in their homes and do okay.”
She wants to see movement on the seniors’ housing front, noting that the file has been sitting on a desk in Victoria since last March. “[The holdup] is something to do with the transfer of property [from the Ministry of Education to the Ministry of Housing; the seniors’ facility is slated to be built on the old Clinton Elementary School site]. I’d like to look into seeing if the Village could purchase the property in order to facilitate things.
“I hope we can plug along on the issue, and be the squeaky wheel so we can get it done. And I want to continue with some of the things council has already been working on, so they don’t fall by the wayside.”
She says she’s excited and anxious, but that the next four years are going to be fun. “It will be a lot of work, but I’ll have fun doing it.”
McIlravey says the groundwork for her run for council this year was laid four years ago, when she had a conversation with someone about services being cut in the Village. “Health services and family services were being cut, and there was a feeling that things weren’t being run the way they should be.”
She says that she’s heard a lot about the lack of rental housing in Clinton. “That’s another huge aspect when it comes to bringing families here and keeping people here. If there are no services or facilities, people won’t want to come here or stay here.”
McIlravey, who works as a health care aide in community home health, says that it’s important to maintain services for seniors. “We need activities for seniors year-round. Services start up, and then they go. And we need to be persistent regarding the seniors’ housing, and get it moving forward.
“It’s so needed. There are seniors who can’t stay in their homes, and it’s sad to see that they have to move away from their community and their friends.”
She says she’s definitely looking forward to working as part of the new council.
“I’m quite excited, and think I’ll learn a lot. I bring a different tack and experience to the table that will blend well. We all bring something to the table.”