Lake Cowichan: Forrest, Ross–Mayor Candidate

Lake Cowichan: Forrest, Ross–Mayor Candidate answers questions about his candidacy.

  • Oct. 29, 2014 5:00 a.m.
Ross Forrest

Ross Forrest

Occupation: Icemaker – Parks employee, Municipality of North Cowichan

Why are you running for public office?

I have had the privilege to represent Lake Cowichan as Mayor for the past six years.

My reason for running now is the same as it was six years ago; I love my community and feel I have much to offer from the lessons I have learned over my time here.

What are your top 3 issues and how do you plan to tackle these issues, if elected?

1. Health and safety of our citizens. We had great success replacing our doctors when they were leaving and now have many valuable additions to our health care providers. I would like to work towards acquiring a facility for our seniors to have assisted, and then full-time care if required.

2. Jobs. The days when people just showed up with boots to get a job in the forest industry will never return. We need a steady transition away from that dependence and it has started. Improvements to our town have helped attract new business the past couple of years. We have had a number of new businesses join our community that are thriving. To name just a few: Tim Hortons saw the potential in our town; they are now located here and currently employ 27 individuals. South Shore Cabinetry continues to expand and currently employs 16 individuals. These two are examples of very good businesses recognizing the potential our communities offers and I will continue to encourage others to take advantage of our low commercial land prices. They are not only supporting other local businesses but they are employing a number of local residents and bringing new people to our community. If re-elected my goal is to continue supporting new business growth as well as educate the investors and business owners about the benefits of joining our community.

3. More opportunities for our youth. With proper collaboration I can see some good possibilities for a potential center for our youth to interact and learn.

How do you plan to manage taxes and spending?

Pay as we go. Avoid borrowing. Add value to our community in a responsible manner.

Council for the past six years has had success in leveraging other sources of funding to afford many of the projects we have done to improve our town through revitalization.

What do you think it takes to lead Lake Cowichan?

The ability to work together with others. Our success can be attributed to our cooperation between council, staff, our public, and other governments and agencies as well as respecting each other to achieve positive results.

Describe your leadership or co-working style.

Provide an environment where we all are working together. It is important that council and staff realize they don’t work for me; but with me. One of first moves I made when elected was open the Mayor’s office to be available for Mayor and Council. Share our learning resources.

I am consistent with what is best for our collective community. Our by-laws and policies are intended for everyone and my decisions will reflect that.

How many council meetings have you attended in the last six months ?

All meetings except one while attending convention for town.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I hope our electorate shows the respect our Town deserves and votes for the best candidates.