Lake Cowichan mayor and council candidate profiles


In the run up to the civic elections, we asked candidates some basic questions:
Describe yourself and your experience.
Why did you decide to run for a seat at the council table?
What do you think are the most important issues in Lake Cowichan?
Do you live within Lake Cowichan?
Do you have a website or Facebook page where people can get more information about you and what is it?
Their answers are posted below, verbatim, in the order they were received.
==================

Ross Forrest – Mayoral candidate – Incumbent

My name is Ross Forrest and I have had the honour of representing the Town of Lake Cowichan as Mayor for the past ten years. Tracy, my wife of forty-one years and I feel very blessed to have raised our family in Lake Cowichan and now we get to enjoy our grandchildren growing up in the same town we love so much.

I have decided to run for re-election as Mayor for a few reasons:

  • It allows me the privilege to team with dedicated councillors to create the policies that will grow our community.
  • I recognize that Lake Cowichan still has an enormous potential to become an even more desirable place to raise families and I believe my pride for community and leadership capabilities can help us continue in that positive direction.
  • I can’t think of a more rewarding way to serve your community than having the best job in politics; the Mayor of your town. Nothing would be more gratifying than having an impactful influence on the towns success.

I think the most important issues for our community are:

  • While we have accomplished many upgrades to our town during my three terms, it’s imperative that we stay the course to continually replace and upgrade our aging infrastructure through prudent management of our limited financial resources.
  • Continue to build pride in our community that will encourage more engagement, volunteerism and business growth.

I have lived my entire life in Lake Cowichan. The Mayors position gives me a great avenue to serve the community that has provided so much for me and my family; quite frankly there is no other place I’d rather live.

I have a website www.vote4ross.ca and a Facebook page @rossforrestformayor that are dedicated to the election.

================
Bob Day – Mayoral Candidate

Describe yourself and your experience.

My Name is Bob K. Day and for the past 10 years I have had the honour of serving on Town of Lake Cowichan Council and 4 of those years as an appointed CVRD Municipal Director. I have always been a person that is involved in my community, whether through youth sports, service clubs, fund raising or community events. Whenever appropriate I am willing to take on a leadership role. My work career has been that of retail management which is mostly about team building and setting goals for positive results. My leadership style has been described as one that brings out the best in people around me. I guess that is the result of many years of playing football and hockey which taught me to recognize everyone’s potential and how to communicate and cooperate to achieve a common goal.

Why did you decide to run for mayor?

I believe I have gained the trust and support of the residents of the Town through my work ethic, as well as the knowledge I have gathered during my time as an elected official. I never gloss over the surface of issues that need to be addressed, but always study every aspect and ask the tough questions. My goal is to lead with vision that will make “Our Town” a place where people can live, work and play for their entire lifetime.

What do you think are the most important issues in your community?

We are experiencing a significant surge in growth, so it is important that we do our best to manage that growth, making sure we always use the best practices in the development and redevelopment of our neighbourhoods.  Living at the head of the most significant watershed in the Cowichan Valley, means we always have to adhere to environmental best practices and have a strong voice in the region to protect our water resources into the future.

An independent review of municipal administration and operations, completion of major projects, shortage of attainable housing for all ages, enhancement of tourism opportunities in the shoulder seasons are of high priority to me. Most importantly we need to make sure our staff has the tools to take on the task of managing our way forward without adding undue taxation to our residents.
Do you live within Lake Cowichan?

I have lived in the community for 23 years and my wish is to keep this a community that is safe, happy and sustainable for all ages and the generations ahead, making sure that the natural surroundings are respected as our population increases.

Do you have a website or Facebook page where people can get more information about you and what is it?
I can be found on Facebook at Bob K. Day where I post my view on issues on a regular basis and I have also produced a YouTube video with this link that is also posted on my page.  https://youtu.be/tSOmvONgf3M
=================
Carolyne Austin – Council Candidate – Incumbent

Describe yourself and your experience.

 

Why did you decide to run for a seat at the council table?

I am presently completing my first term as Town Councillor and have worked hard for the residents and enjoyed it immensley. My experience includes positions on various municipal committees and executive member on several non-profit organizations in Lake Cowichan over the past 34 years. I am committed to our comunity and to keeping it a great place to live for all ages with positive growth for the future. And, I am dedicated to continue upgrading our infrastructure and to complete the projects that we have started like the Centennial Field complex.

I have been serving on a senior care facility committee for almost 4 years. We are now a designated non-profit society and plan to move forward to our goal of a care facility in Lake Cowichan. I am also an alternate liaison for the Advisory Planning Commission that, with the town planner and several local residents as members, is doing a great job of updating the Official Community Plan that will be completed in 2019 and take us into the future.

 

What do you think are the most important issues in Lake Cowichan?

There are a few, but housing is on everyone’s lips right now.  I believe we need more attainable housing for all ages if we want our community and local businesses to continue to thrive; apartments, townhouses, duplexes and smaller single family homes. Some are already planned in one area. Densification in some areas, especially the downtown core, is good for our community.

I am pleased that our water treatment plant is almost completed and due to be online in the near future.  No more ‘boil water’ notices from Island Health!

And, residents are not convinced that the referendums for two CVRD bylaws with increased taxing for our community are the right thing to do so I encourage everyone to research the issues and be sure to come out and vote.

 

Do you live within Lake Cowichan?

Yes, have for 34 years. My husband is a Youbonian and has lived in this area all his life.

 

Do you have a website or Facebook page where people can get more information about you and what is it?

Yes, facebook – Carolyne Austin, email cgaustin@shaw.ca, phone 250-749-6772.

================

Tim McGonigle – Council Candidate – Incumbent

Describe yourself and your experience.
I am a semi retired logger, married for 41 yrs with 2 grown children and 3 grandsons who live in Lake Cowichan. I am also a multi term Councillor and volunteer with many outside organizations as well.

Why did you decide to run for a seat at the council table?

The first time I put my name forward, was to discover why certain infrastructure needs were , in my opinion, not being met. Instead of complaining from the sidelines, I thought I would put my name forward, and work towards solving some of these deficiencies.

What do you think are the most important issues in Lake Cowichan?

One of the most important issues that I hear consistently is affordability in housing, and how local government can address this complex problem. With good policy, and innovative ideas such as rental only zoning in subdivisions, developer density bonuses, are some avenues I would like to explore. Also established neighbourhoods , which have been overlooked while major infrastructure projects have been implemented, are looking for much needed attention. Keeping taxes at a manageable level is also an issue, not taxing those on fixed incomes out of their homes.

Do you live within Lake Cowichan?

Yes, I have lived in the Lake Cowichan area for 40 years, as do my children, and grandchildren, and therefore I feel I have a vested interest in Lake Cowichan.

Do you have a website or Facebook page where people can get more information about you and what is it?

I have a Facebook page under my name Tim McGonigle.

===============

Loretta Puckrin – Council Candidate


Describe yourself and your experience.
I am a business person with over 40 years experience running businesses from media to printing to health and safety. My volunteer work has given my valuable insights into the needs of these organizations. I am currently on a number of local boards and have recently formed the Cowichan Lake Arts and Culture Society to address the needs of mentoring and community. I believe that my creative thinking skills, ability to work with a variety of personality types, understanding of finances and willingness to work hard will all be of benefit to the town.

Why did you decide to run for a seat at the council table?
Running for a local town/city council has been an objective of mine for a long time. Recently I was able to reduce my workload to the extent that I could now devote the necessary time to a position on the council. Lake Cowichan is poised on the brink of change and I want to be a positive part of that change.

What do you think are the most important issues in Lake Cowichan?
We need to create a balance and sustainable community by working with the diverse and impressive skill sets that are our residents. If council is an opportunity generator and responsive to the community needs then we will have an unbeatable tam working together. Sustainable communities mean business as well as residential – it means cleaning up Shore Shore Road to express vibrancy and not dereliction – it means protecting our watershed – it means creating an environment so that the residents can live, work and play within the town.

Do you live within Lake Cowichan?
I have been a resident for 10 years.

Do you have a website or Facebook page where people can get more information about you and what is it?
Facebook: Loretta Puckrin

==============
Kristine Sandhu
1.  My name is Kristine Sandhu and I was born and raised in Lake Cowichan. I’m married to Jas Sandhu for 29 years and we have three grown children.
I was an elected school trustee from 1999-2008, I was a councillor for the town of Lake Cowichan from 2005-2008.2.  As a life time resident of Lake Cowichan I’m a strong advocate of volunteering in our community, I feel my experience will continue to guide the new council with openness and accountability to our residents and business owners.3.  Affordable housing, senior care facility ( assisted living, hospice facility) this could happen with a multi use facility.  Economic development.

4.  Yes

5.  I have my personal Facebook page with all my election information.  It’s under Kristine Sandhu

=================
The following candidates have not responded to our request for information:

Mayor:

Rod Peters
Bob K. Day

Councillors (four needed):

Lorna Vomacka – Incumbent
Janet M. Kirk
Beverly North
Rocky Wise


Recent Posts