Meet the 8 candidates running for councillor in the District of Barriere

A continuation of last weeks interview with incumbent Pat Paula

For The Record: The Star/Journal’s issue of Oct. 24/11 article, ‘Meet the 8 candidates running for councillor in the District of Barriere, was missing part of the interview with incumbent Pat Paula.  We apologize for this error and have included the additional information below.

Pat Paula

District of Barriere incumbent councillor Pat Paula says she is running for another term because it’s all about community.  “A healthy community is a living and growing entity with an ebb and flow; Barriere is such a community,” said Paula. “I believe that the community’s local government is the foundation or platform where elected officials can speak with a voice larger than a single individual to promote its values and opportunities; to seek a healthy and safe environment including water and sewer; to provide recreation for all groups and education to our children and adults; to encourage and give support to the provision of jobs with efforts to search for and make opportunities for economic development”

Paula notes that in seeking a third term as councillor she not only brings with her four years of experience, but also a multi-faceted background of experience and education in health care, B.C. Coroners Service, banking, service on a not-for-profit provincial board, knowledge of vital documents and record-keeping, one-on-one listening and discussion, participation in child and adult literacy programs, and a number of other volunteer positions.  “I believe these experiences add to my ability to better serve the residents of Barriere with views towards growing our future with stable infrastructure, jobs, community safety, health and wellness, recreation and access to higher government programs,” said Paula.

The incumbent states that over the past four years as a councillor, she have seen how more financial responsibilities have been off-loaded onto local governments from higher governments (regional, provincial, federal) and provincially funded agencies such as Health Authorities, which ultimately impact local government’s projected budgets.  These responsibilities include watershed protection and exploration, road quality and maintenance agreements, plus septage and solid waste management.

“I believe it is fair to say that local rural governments are chronically underfunded, and Barriere is no exception,” said Paula, noting she has been pleased how the municipality has approached these financial challenges, “In innovative and insightful ways to get the best value for rate payers dollars that we can.” She did note however that in some cases a project must be shelved in lieu of “necessary emergency spending”.

“I keep learning to better represent all Barriere residents through meetings with various provincial ministries where I and others from council have lobbied for money, infrastructure, painted lines on the highway and within our town, better legislation to protect consumers of manufactured housing, continued talks with B.C. Ambulance to treat our area fairly in man-power and equipment, forestry considerations, and B.C. Hydro and alternative power sources at a level to help promote Barriere’s growth,” said Paula.

Regarding the Official Community Plan (OCP) Paula explains it by saying, “We get a melded picture of a plan for Barriere that is the vision of council and Barriere residents.  It is a great view into the projected status of Barriere as we grow and achieve prosperity.”

One of the municipal committees that Paula chairs is the Cemetery Committee.  “In mid-2010, the District of Barriere took over operation of our local cemetery when the volunteer group who had supported it in the past disbanded.  I was appointed to chair that District committee which is comprised of District councillors and members of the public with support from an advisor and District staff.  Together, we have made great strides in by-law development specific to Barriere’s Cemetery, and planning for a beautiful and peaceful place for the living to remember their ancestors.  I believe this will add to the fabric of our community.”

Paula says over the past four years she is confident she has served the citizens of Barriere well by following the appropriate legislation and public input, and using fair and equal logic while carrying out her duties as a member of council.

“I ask that you exercise your vote as you see fit on Nov. 19,” said the incumbent, “In doing that, I ask that you consider me as one of your choices for District of Barriere Councillor for the next three years.”