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Meet the mayor: Nipper Kettle takes the reins in Greenwood

Erin Perkins
By Erin Perkins
December 12th, 2011

Everything about Greenwood’s new mayor is memorable — from his name to his smile – Nipper Kettle is not a man anyone is likely to forget.  The active and energetic 57-year-old may be new to Greenwood — he moved there last April — but he’s left enough of an impression to win the mayoral race in the November elections by four votes.  “I think they (the voters) spoke and it’s a win for both me and the city,” said Kettle of the four vote divide.  Originally from Newfoundland, Kettle has lived in B.C. since 1980 and spent more than 30 years working for Houston Forest Products based in Houston B.C.  While he may be new to Greenwood, Kettle is not new to politics. He has been an active politician since 1993 when he was first elected to Houston City Council. He served until 2001, was then re-elected in 2008 as councillor for the district of Houston, sat as a director on the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako board and for the North West Regional Health District. He was deputy mayor of Houston before moving to Greenwood in April 2010.  “I got tired of always reacting and wanted to be more proactive,” said Kettle of his need to get into politics. “You just need to get in there and take the bull by the horns and that’s what I did. It’s in my blood — I like a challenge and the fact you can help things move along. I’m not a fence sitter. If I have an opinion, I express it.”  He credits his campaign win to hard work and his use of social media networks like Facebook.  “I did the work. I knocked on every door in the city and sometimes spent up to two hours in their home,” said Kettle.  “I probably spent 80 hours knocking on doors. Now I know what a lot of the issues are and know what we need to do to work toward solving those issues. I love the people part (of politics).”  As mayor he will continue to use Facebook to communicate with Greenwood residence.  “Social media, I think, played a big part in my election campaign,” Kettle commented.  The issues he is most concerned about right now is replacing the aging infrastructure and encouraging business development within the city.  “There’s a lot of history here and it stops traffic,” said Kettle. “But we need to see more people investing in local business.”  Without an industrial tax base to draw tax dollars from for the needed infrastructure improvements, Kettle sees business growth as key to getting more money into the local economy.  Because of his past political connections, Kettle hopes to apply for grant money to aid the city in their endeavours. “In 1993 government grants were abundant. Now there are way less due to government cutbacks. We’ve been left with all the government downloading,” he added.  Kettle and his wife Sheryl Campbell have three grown daughters who live elsewhere in Canada.  When Kettle isn’t being a politician, he can be found enjoying another passion — cycling. He is a member of a local cycling club and thinks nothing of putting 10,000 kilometres on his bike all over the Boundary region and into Washington. He also likes to compete in half triathalons.  And what about his memorable name? As a child, Nipper loved the Nipper comic strip by Canadian cartoonist Doug Wright. The series had a regular spot in the local Friday newspaper when he was a kid. He would run over to a neighbour’s house every Friday to read the strip, then promptly leave. The neighbours began calling him Nipper after the mischievous cartoon boy and the name stuck.

To find out more about Nipper Kettle and what the Greenwood City Council is doing visit his Facebook page at www.facebook.com under Nipper Kettle Mayor of Greenwood. 

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