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CANDIDATE: Julia Butler (GF - Council)
To see a list of all the available candidate profiles click here.
I am a long time home owner and resident within Grand Forks city limits. I operate my own landscaping business and have worked for the past three years as a lifeguard and fitness instructor at GF Rec. Prior to settling in Grand Forks to raise a family, I travelled extensively working in many different fields. I became certified as a nutritional consultant in Victoria and worked there in the health industry for a number of years. I have decided to raise my children here because of the values and lifestyle that a rural community has to offer:
We know our neighbours
Have parks and beaches within walking distance
Parking is free and available
We love to garden
We have a great social network in the CHEK homeschool program, 4H, GF Figure Skating Club, Boundary Youth Soccer and many of my customers who welcome my children coming to work with me.
When I come home from out of town and drive down Spencer’s Hill the view always reminds me how good it is to be home. Sure, we have some issues that we are dealing with here, as individuals and as a community, but when you take a look around the world, we are truly blessed in this valley. It is an undiscovered jewel. I started attending council meetings last January because of an issue that greatly concerned me and over the past nine months I have become acquainted with the wide variety of issues facing our town. The amount of research required to stay informed on both policy and legalities involved in the Community Charter and higher levels of government is extensive. After already investing so much time I feel confident that I can properly represent the citizens of Grand Forks and restore a voice to the people. I believe council should take their orders from the people and then lobby the Provincial and Federal Governments in line with what the community desires. My experience and observation has shown the opposite is taking place. I have no prior experience in politics nor have I ever wanted to be called a politician. I’m just a concerned citizen like everyone else who wants to see some of the key issues resolved.
#1 is dear to my heart. Infrastructure throughout our country is old and desperately needs replacing. At the last election we agreed to borrow money to fix it, so I know this issue is important to the rest of you as well. We have had main water lines breaking all over town and the approach so far has been reactive rather than proactive. Let’s find our leaks and fix them! We have the technology to do so. Some people in town are reporting brown water coming out of their taps. This is totally unacceptable! And, before we pave over a section of road, let’s take the time to fix the pipes underneath first, so we don’t have to dig up the new road to fix them!
#2 Financial responsibility: Our town used to enjoy a surplus from our slag fund but this year’s budget was not encouraging. Our spending has got to be reigned in so that taxes for business and residents can be reasonable. In my house I don’t buy my kids toys until the bills are paid - period. Needs, have to be prioritized before wants. We have some big expenses coming up as a community and we are going to have to tighten our belts so to speak. P3 agreements or privatization are being pushed on communities by the Federal Government as a solution to lack of funds. I for one do not want to see our assets sold off to the highest bidder and have a large corporation in charge of key aspects in our town. Yes we need to attract new industry and businesses, but let’s make sure they are environmentally friendly and maybe we could even develop a trades school to keep our kids local and families together.
#3 Deer oh dear! Really? How much time and money have we spent fence sitting on this issue. $10 000 on tracking collars is not how I want my tax dollars spent! I am an animal lover and much of my life I have been vegetarian, but last month, I was the first responder on a roll over west of town. A young girl had swerved to miss a deer. I would be curious to know the ICBC stats on deer related accidents in our area. As much as I love deer, too many are dangerous to drivers and we need to put human life first. This election you will have a referendum on this question. Culling is an easy solution but maybe not the best one. After talking with residents, I think the solution should be 3 fold. First, lobby the Provincial Government to have a longer open season on does, below 1100 ft in the valley bottom, outside of city limits. A lot of our deer do migrate off the hills and into town. It would be better to have the meat utilized rather than wasted. Secondly, individual neighbourhoods can lobby council to have their herds relocated. We don’t know if our domesticated herds will survive in the wild, especially since wild deer are declining but maybe some would adapt. Thirdly, if we still feel that we need to cull perhaps it would be more humane than allowing deer to be maimed or killed by trucks. I was reluctant to address this issue here as it is a sure way to lose someone’s vote as a politician. But, I already told you, I am not a politician.
Therefore, the three words I would pick to describe myself are: direct, discerning and accountable. I am open to feedback on what I have discussed here. I don’t have all the answers. I will be relying on the insight of residents who have a wide variety of experience and knowledge in different areas to show me the way. I’m hoping that this new council can create a friendly interactive relationship with residents that will bolster community spirit and volunteer involvement. I really appreciate the heritage in this town not only for the good Russian food, but I also here we used to be pretty good at baseball! I thought it might be fun to have a local GFI where each neighbourhood has their own team. ie. Ruckle vs. Valley Heights or Johnson Flats vs. Riverside Dr. All ages welcome!