In Profile: Nelson Municipal Election 2022 – Jesse Woodward

It is the second in a series of inside looks at the candidates for city council – both councilor and mayor – ahead of the general municipal elections on October 15.

Biography: a more detailed view

The West Kootenays have been my home for more than half my life.

I was raised in the Slocan Valley, married in New Denver, and worked professionally and raised my own family in Nelson and RDCK. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere but here, it’s my home from start to finish.

For the past 10 years I have worked in frontline, management and community development roles (Nelson Farmer’s Market Manager and Nelson Community Food Center Food Bank Coordinator) with the goal of helping this town and this region to prosper, prosper and grow. healthy and sustainable way.

If privileged to be re-elected, I will continue to work to prepare Nelson for the massive changes the climate crisis will bring to our region over the next five to ten years. This work will include further carefully planned wildfire mitigation actions, strengthening regional networks for climate change responses, and strengthening local food security systems where possible.

I will also continue to advocate for other innovative solutions to the local housing crisis and strengthen the city’s working relationship with our vital local social service organizations and programs.

I will continue to advocate and work for policies that strengthen the vitality of our local business community and our unique heritage downtown. I will also advocate for the continued process of renewing the city’s assets where and when it is needed by ensuring that Nelson has healthy capital reserves so that taxes do not have to be raised suddenly when asset replacements very expensive expire.

Here are just a few examples of some of the work and political actions I have been most focused on, helped develop, and ultimately voted to implement over the past four years on Nelson City Council:

• the “Nelson Next” global climate action plan for our city;

• City e-Bike funding program;

• increased funding to Nelson Hydro for its vegetation management program;

• Development of active transportation infrastructures and bicycle paths;

• Extension of the Selous Creek water main to the town’s main water reservoir;

• Completion of the City’s Emergency Operations Center and hiring of an Emergency Management Coordinator;

• 25-point action plan for economic recovery and financial stability in the event of a pandemic; and

• work to mitigate wildfires on the city’s forest interfaces.

Additionally, I connect deeply with the sayings “many hands do light work” and “if you want to go far…go together”, so I will continue to foster healthy and strong relationships across the many areas of operations. of the city of Nelson. and with citizens and organizations in our shared community.

It is on this that I have based most of my council’s decisions and votes over the past four years and will continue in this line of policy and action development if re-elected to Nelson City Council.

Here is a series of questions asked of all candidates:

• With the cost of doing business increasing for everyone, including the City of Nelson, how does the city prevent municipal service budgets from increasing each year at the rate of inflation, or the situation is it inevitable?

The continuous increase in the costs of all products in all areas, problems and disruptions in the supply chain, the consequences of the pandemic, the weather effects of climate change and the massive damage they cause, the uncertainty of the conflict in Ukraine and the destabilization of global stock markets add up. to a highly volatile and unpredictable economic landscape.

Undoubtedly, costs will continue to rise and the City of Nelson must live up to this in order to manage and sustain its workforce, infrastructure and finances over the long term.

This means not falling behind on all of its responsibilities and commitments as a municipality, so that as the cost of this activity increases, the city must include these cost increases in all of its budgets and tax implications in order to be able to maintain the best levels of service and management for the local community as a whole.

• Compared to its sister cities of Trail and Castlegar, Nelson has double or triple the workforce of these municipalities. This increase in the workforce is partly due to the fact that Nelson has its own police force, a utility company and a public library, to name a few. Should we change the way these services are provided or should we support them with more resources?

Our local services like the Police, Fire, Nelson Hydro and Library are essential parts of making Nelson the amazing, complex, unique and wonderful place that it is.

These local city services are very knowledgeable about our community and because of this they are able to provide excellent levels of quality services to the citizens of Nelson in a timely and efficient manner.

We are fortunate to have these local services and infrastructure and they should be well supported for the benefit of our community as a whole in the long term. They are a big part of what makes Nelson the amazing city that it is.

• Nelson Airport occupies a significant portion of real estate in the city. How should the airport be considered and should it be preserved or not?

Nelson Airport is a vital part of Nelson’s landscape and history and provides multiple co-benefits such as a forest fire control ground, emergency medical evacuations and tourist services as well as the local use of airplanes and helicopters.

The land on which the airport is built is infill, so large, heavy infrastructure cannot be built directly on it, and this is why the airport functions well in its current location and use.

Nelson Airport provides many diverse benefits to our local community and economy and maintaining it is important to Nelson’s future needs, especially as the effects of climate change accelerate, the airport will be more than never needed.

• Climate change affects all areas of society and the way we do business, as well as making us aware of how we consume resources. How can the city do its part to reverse its effect and move the city further (and faster) down the path it is already on to becoming carbon neutral?

The extensive and detailed “Nelson Next” climate action plan generated by the community and the city, and the new climate and energy department of the city of Nelson have been developed to directly answer what this question poses.

The City of Nelson is focused and committed to taking concrete action to reduce its climate impacts, and we now have the plan and the team in place to make it happen. Nelson is now a leader in BC in this regard and we are now modeling what a small town can do to play its part in addressing the global climate crisis.

We’re a small town but we have a big responsibility, like everyone else, to do our part to help slow the climate change crisis, and that’s exactly what we’re doing now and will continue to do for the long term.

• Every community and province has been hit hard by the economic restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. What (other) city-led initiatives can reasonably be undertaken to stimulate the local economy?

During the pandemic, the City of Nelson developed the “25-Point Economic Stimulus and Financial Stability Action Plan for Pandemic Response” and “Municipal Operations Recovery Strategy,” as well as continuing to a number of infrastructure projects with pandemic grant funding that was offered through the provincial and federal governments.

All of this was meant to stimulate, strengthen and help guide our local community and economy during and after the pandemic.

As the pandemic fades into the background, the city continues to try to help and support the local business community, the arts and culture sector and the local community as a whole recover and thrive in again through political support and decisions where and when they can.

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