Williams Lake city councillor Jason Ryll will be seeking a second term in October’s municipal election.
Ryll made the announcement this week, and told the Tribune he’s made the decision because he feels like he’s just getting started helping further the long-term vision of the city.
“I’ve really enjoyed advocating on behalf of the city.”
Through his first term, he quickly realized being on council is about representing a vision that is much larger than an individual’s ideas.
“My own personal beliefs have to take a sideline to some of the issues the community at large is asking for,” Ryll said.
Williams Lake is poised to be a centre for revitalization in the forest industry, Ryll said.
“I know we are going to see a bit of decline as far as the annual allowable cut in the next few years, but I think with Williams Lake having a long story being a community based in forestry, I see that as an opportunity to help reinvent ourselves, help assist the mills in inventing themselves so that they are maximizing the efficiency they are getting out of the wood fibre out of the forest.”
Making sure forests are as healthy and diverse as possible is also important, not just for lumber prices but for addressing the urban wildfire interface, he added.
Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake Campus is another asset of the community that Ryll feels “still needs to grow into itself.”
“Many other communities have used universities and colleges as economic generators and I think Williams Lake is very close to that happening.”
Ryll said he’s committed to working with TRU to fill gaps the community is identifying.
While on council, he has represented the City on the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association.
“I think there are things the City can partner on with the CCCTA, whether it’s the Fraser Basin Council, or other tourism agencies. I’d like to continue to see us strengthen those partnerships.
Aside from weekly council meetings, there’s the necessity to read all of the reports before each meeting, contact people in the community to talk about different issues, and attend other events meetings on council’s behalf.
“It’s certainly a time commitment — a much larger time commitment than I had expected, but I don’t have a problem with it,” he said, noting if anyone is thinking about running, they should be aware of the amount of time that is involved.
“Personally I’m giving anywhere from 10 to 40 hours a week.”
Ryll grew up in Williams Lake.
“My family moved here in the early 70s and my dad and mom worked on the Gang Ranch, my dad was a cowboy and he worked at Gibraltar Mine when it first opened,” he said.
So far Mayor Walt Cobb and Coun. Craig Smith have indicated they will run again, Coun. Laurie Walters and Coun. Sue Zacharias confirmed they won’t be, and Coun. Ivan Bonnell and Coun. Scott Nelson have yet to make their intentions known.
School District 27 trustee Sheila Boehm and realtor Michael Jones have also said they will be running for city council.