Chamber of Commerce president Jason Ryll and business owner Craig Smith have announced they plan to run for city council.
Ryll formally announced his plan at last week’s monthly chamber luncheon, putting to rest rumours he was running for the mayor’s chair.
“It’s been a decision I’ve been toiling over for quite some time,” he said Thursday.
Suggesting his leadership style, networks and contacts are an asset he also said his ability to have a business voice at the business table is something that’s been overlooked on city council.
His decision to run for council, rather than mayor, was based on how much time he has available to devote to the job, he said.
“To take a run at mayor, while I think my chances may have been good, wouldn’t fit with my lifestyle at this point of running my own business and coaching rugby.”
Being mayor is a full-time job and there’s no way he could run his business and be mayor, although it might be something he’ll revisit in four years if he’s successful on council.
While Ryll has a vision of where he would like to see the community headed, he said he wants to hear from community members.
“My job is to listen and then be a voice for my community,” Jason said.
Ryll is a long term resident of Williams Lake. He graduated from Columneetza Secondary School in 1990. After pursuing his post-secondary education, he returned home to Williams Lake to work in broadcasting and has remained in the lakecity ever since.
For more information, please contact Jason at firstname.lastname@example.org and watch for a Facebook page coming soon.
After being a longtime resident of the Cariboo with more than 20 years of work, play and participation in Williams Lake, Craig Smith said he felt it was time to give back to the community.
“It is with enthusiasm and a passion for the community, that I announce my intentions to run for a position on city council,” Smith said.
An extensive business past has provided Smith with an inside look at what it takes to sustain business in the downtown and how to weather the ups and downs.
“I have a passion for business and understand that a community needs a healthy economy to support and sustain business,” Smith said, adding he has the drive to look for creative and innovative ways to make the business community prosperous.
Stimulation of economic development and the recruitment and retention of business is at the heart of what the community needs to stay healthy for generations to come, he suggested.
Smith envisions the development of a package by the city for businesses that outlines the steps and process, and streamlines procedures to decrease wait times and save businesses money.
In order for business to grow, the city’s infrastructure must be included as part of economic development, he insisted.
“It’s not just about wanting to make the city more accountable and fiscally responsible, it’s about having the business background to know how to make it possible, and how to build infrastructure responsibly.”
Smith is passionate about the arts and has been on stage many times with Studio Theatre and performed in many bands. He has been part of the Pipe band, and plays a variety of musical instruments.
Currently he is the president of the local Shrine Club for kids and volunteers with a huge variety of local groups and charities.
“To be on council, I feel, is just the next step in giving back to my community and making it a great place to do business, work, and recreate,” Smith said.