From left to right: Everett Baker, Stan Sharkey, Danna O'Donnell (bottom left) and Alec Brownlee. (Black Press Media graphic)

Grand Forks Election 2022: Why should voters support you for mayor?

General voting day in the upcoming civic election is Oct. 15, 2022.

We asked mayoral candidates to submit 300-word responses answering the question: Why residents should vote for you?

Here are their responses, in alphabetical order:

Alec Brownlee

My name is Alec Brownlee and I am running for the position of Mayor in Grand Forks.

I am relatively new to the community but I bring a wealth of experience gained from my two terms as a councillor for the District of Chetwynd. I am familiar with the inner workings of local government and have sat on numerous committees dealing with health, housing and infrastructure. I also sat on the Regional District board as an alternate.

I believe my ability to listen and communicate clearly is an asset.

As Mayor, I will work towards projects that are done right the first time and finished on time and on budget.

I will insist on clear communication between city hall and the citizens of Grand Forks.

I think the city should provide incentives for the construction of multi-family dwellings.

I will work with council to continue pressuring Interior Health to improve our Healthcare infrastructure.

A vote for me on October 15 is a vote to have the changes you’ve been looking for.

Alec Brownlee

Danna O’Donnell

Danna O’Donnell is a 20-year resident of the Grand Forks area. She has been the Regional District Director of Area D / Rural Grand Forks doing an outstanding job for the past two years. She farms and is a volunteer in the Community. Danna is a voice for the people of our region and has been speaking up on issues that concern our residents, including health care, economic development and housing.

Danna is running for re-election as Rural Grand Forks Director and Mayor of Grand Forks. Although rare, it is not a conflict of interest, and both positions go hand in hand, complimenting each other. Danna had regularly attended Committee of the Whole Meetings and City Council meetings, presented reports and participated where appropriate. She is a very valuable contributor to the RDKB’s Board of Directors’ table and can commit herself to our Community’s growth efficiently and effectively.

Danna is disciplined, and as a Mother of twins plus one, she knows about the importance of fairness and intends to be fair to all our Community residents.

Danna cares about the environment and plans to use the RDKB’s new Climate Action Plan to address climate change. She knows that by working with the province, we can assist our Seniors and help them stay at home as long as possible. Danna has been outspoken concerning finding solutions to our housing crisis.

Danna listens and acts, is respectful, polite and pleasant but firm in her convictions to do the right thing and knows the proper channels to go about change.

Danna has gone above and beyond by serving as an executive on the West Kootenay and Boundary Regional Hospital District Board and the Association of Kootenay and Boundary Local Governments.

Danna has the skills, experience and energy to lead and be your voice.

Danna O'Donnell

Everett Baker

My name is Everett Baker, I was elected to Grand Forks Council in the 2020 by-election. My family and I have owned and operated the Grand Forks Funeral Home

Experience:

For the last 10 years I worked in Provincial politics alongside our past MLA Linda Larson I was President of he Legion, volunteered at the Food Bank, Chair of the Grand Forks Social Services Advisory Group & served as coordinator for the Grand Forks International Baseball.

I was appointed as liaison to the following:

Minister Eby (BC Housing)

Sgt. Peppler (RCMP)

Senior’s Society

Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy

Minister Dix (Interior Health)

I have also served as the “alternate representative” to the Regional District

1) I support the building of a Community Centre, but my concerns are all about the cost.

That is why I voted to hold a referendum on borrowing. These are YOUR tax dollars.

2) Infrastructure is the heartbeat of a growing and prosperous city. Ours need upgrading. I will work with Council and City Staff to plan and fund the upgrades for Downtown, and throughout Grand Forks.

3) I will continue to be your voice for affordable housing in Grand Forks. Our partnership with Osoyoos Indian Band to relocate flood housing and new builds is a positive move for our city.

4) I will continue to work with BC Housing and Whole Way House to build senior housing. Our need for rental housing, healthcare workers and for a growing community.

5) I will continue to advocate with Provincial and Federal governments to complete the flood protection for our city.

6) I will support industry, small business, and tourism to keep and create local jobs.

7) I will bring the “Office of the Mayor” back into City Hall and will hold bi-monthly “coffee with the Mayor”.

Everett Baker

Stan Sharkey

I want to bring Grand Forks to be the hub city for this entire area. We need to attract more businesses to this region to help promote growth and revitalize this entire community. This will help remove the mindset of nimbyism.

We need another couple of family restaurants, providing more choice for this region. Let’s clean up the side streets and repave, put in fresh sidewalks. Add more lights to enhance our businesses, including wrapping the trees professionally. Create an art walk with the beautiful murals that Paul Archer has given to us creating an attractive ambience.

Let’s fix the derelict buildings and cover abandoned buildings windows with posters to replace the unattractiveness. Clean up the boulevards, trimming trees or broken concrete. Anything that is obvious for tourists, that in the past may kept them driving right through and out of town. Keeping all architectural design, ideas (bids) local.

These are just a few ideas.

I also see a lack in reaching out more to our citizens. I suggest having a community bulletin board letting our people see what’s going on in our community every month, including projects and events.

I have been made aware the seniors need more of a voice addressing their needs to enhance community from their prospective. Just imagine for a moment, with some of what I have suggested here, then adding the possibility of the proposed Community Centre. We truly would be a thriving Hub City.

Having said that, I respect every citizen and their decision when voting on the referendum. I see potential for having a vibrant city I could see this city being the hub for this whole region. Let’s all pull together and vote for me Stan Sharkey and lets make this happen.

Stan Sharkey

Election 2022