Council candidate Gordon Keener has ideas when it comes to helping the city address economic development and that’s one of the reasons he says he’s running for council.
Keener, a first-time candidate for city council who lives outside the city boundaries, first took a run at municipal politics in 2005 when he unsuccessfully tried for a director seat on the Cariboo Regional District board.
Undeterred he’s stepped up again with ideas of growing the community’s small- and medium-size industries to complement Williams Lake’s existing large industries such as mining and logging.
Growing the tax base, says Keener, will have the additional benefit of helping to minimize the need for tax hikes and encourage further business growth.
“If we encourage more business in Williams Lake those businesses bring in revenue and bring in a tax base so we may not have to raise taxes,” he says.
“If we raise taxes businesses might not come because it’s too costly.”
As a part-time farmer, Keener, who produces turkey, chicken, pork and eggs for the local market, is also interested in the further development of locally grown products. He says he would like the community to be self sustaining when it comes to food rather than relying on outside sources. He sees the development of greenhouses as a future possibility for producers.
Keener, a treaty manager and negotiator for the Soda Creek Band, would like to see further growth in tourism and an improved relationship between the city and First Nations communities.