Kerry Cook is running for mayor of Williams Lake. (Photo submitted)

Kerry Cook is running for mayor of Williams Lake. (Photo submitted)

MEET THE CANDIDATES: Mayoral candidate Kerry Cook

Cook answers questions posed by the Williams Lake Tribune

We asked the candidates: 1. Can you tell us why you are running for mayor? 2.What is the part of the Williams Lake’s Official Community Plan that you care about most, and want to see action on?3. What solutions or ways forward do you see to address concerns around crime and homelessness in our community?4. What do you think needs to be done to attract and retain professionals such as health care providers in our community?5. Can you name a few fun facts people might not know about you?

1.I am running for mayor because I love Williams Lake. I love the people and I love the community spirit! I am not running against anyone but running for the position of mayor. I have graduated, married, and raised my family here. I have a renewed passion to make a difference and the time and energy to hit the ground running!

2.The official community plan was adopted when I was Mayor. It was created by the people for the people. It started with the question Imagine Williams Lake. We won a national award for our integrated approach to creating our vision for our future. It includes building a resilient economy; social well-being; lively downtown; active transportation; affordable housing and liveable neighborhoods; world class recreation; cherished local ecosystems; and distinctive arts, culture, and heritage sections.

There is an emphasis to move on active transportation right now which I fully support! But the section that I believe is of critical importance is building partnerships with Williams Lake First Nations. I have a demonstrated strength in this area. The political landscape has changed. The demographics have changed, peoples’ expectations have changed. We need to build relationships and demonstrate this when looking for provincial and federal funding or when advocating for supports, programs and resources for our community’s social needs.

3. As a community we must deal with our social issues head on. We do not have time to point fingers or blame others, this is a community problem. We need to roll up our sleeves and get all the stakeholders at the table. We need to continue to break down the walls between agencies so we can use our resources more effectively. Over the last few years there has been a Well Being and Community Safety Plan developed with local agencies and stakeholders. We need the right leadership at the table to implement this plan.

4. This question is directly tied to number 2. It is about our vision. Is our vision moving us forward in a way that enhances and builds on our natural landscape and community strengths? When people make decisions to relocate, they look at the whole lifestyle package. We need to appreciate and celebrate our health care workers. All healthcare workers, especially nurses have been under an enormous amount of pressure for the past three years. Young doctors coming in really appreciate incentives. For us to be competitive with other communities throughout B.C. we are going to need to think outside the box and work together.

5. I am a hockey and soccer mom (now hockey and soccer gramma). I love to play cards and board games. Some may say I am even a little competitive. My favourite musical is Les Mis. My great grandmother was a young widow, and woman suffragette who marched the streets in Vancouver fighting for women’s right to vote. I joined my first fantasy hockey pool last year, even drafted my own team!

READ MORE: Former mayor, councillor Kerry Cook running for mayor of Williams Lake

Editor’s Note: Kerry Cook’s answer to the second question about the city’s official community plan was omitted in the print version of the Williams Lake Tribune.

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