After three unsuccessful runs for District of Lillooet Councillor and one unsuccessful bid for Mayor, Ken Rhodes says this is the last time he will seek public office. He first moved to Lillooet for Grade 1 in 1971 and has been permanently living here (with one year away) since 1991. Rhodes previously ran his own computer repair business and works now as a flagger for 100 Mile House-based Tucker’s Traffic Control.
Why do you like Lillooet?
It’s the best weather in Canada, my mother’s here, my sister lives nearby. I like Lillooet because it’s mostly flat, you can walk anywhere. I like being outside and it’s the best weather in Canada.
I want to improve communication with the Natives. In fact, I would like to see if we can get the four main chiefs – Bridge River, Cayoosh, T’it’q’et and Fountain - to sit on the District of Lillooet Council and then we wouldn’t have the problems of having them protest against us because we’re doing things on their land, because they would be part of the decisions, right? They might not come all the time. It might only be one or two of them that would show up. The Chiefs are already elected by their communities, they’re like a mayor that would go to a regional district meeting. They wouldn’t be elected in an election like on Oct. 20, they would go through their election in their community and then be appointed to District of Lillooet Council. That gives the Native bands a say. It’s a suggestion.
The biggest problem I have with council is the non-communication. I would really like to have the people and council communicating back and forth. I don’t know if it’s a fixable problem.
I’ve been working on this idea for a long time – a water contest on Downton Lake. The Ministry of Forests says for $1,400 you can get a water permit and do the contest. Downton Lake’s not quite in the District of Lillooet but part of the contest would be to remove and sell all these elements and replicate the product on Town Creek and Dickey Creek. The taxes from the sales would come back to the community in underground infrastructure with our solar sidewalks probably done by Hydro. If you can take all of the elements out of Downton Lake, which has almost every element around, you could do the product in Town Creek and Dickey Creek, then all of a sudden our water is clean. These elements would be a bit of both – there would be gold, there would be arsenic, there would be platinum, silver, copper, you name it, they’re in our water system. I would take the arsenic out and sell it. I’m not getting any funding from the Ministry (Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources) but there’s support in the way it can happen. It would all be done by a private corporation, but I want the District to promote the idea. I’m trying to make sure that when this does go on Town and Dickey Creeks, the taxes come back to the community.
Another priority is street lights. I have a friend who says there’s been several street lights that are out and he phones in and they say “OK they’ll be fixed in 10 days.” It’s been two years since they’ve been out. Sometimes they do things backwards.
Why he’s running:
The only reason I’m running for council is that I would like to look at what they do and be able to go through it and maybe come up with better ways and look at how their programs work. Not necessarily just computer programs, but the aspect of the street lights. They should have a program in process to make sure those street lights are on. Right now they definitely don’t have somebody checking the street lights. I’d like to figure out ways they can streamline the systems so we’re not spending that much money. Down at my place, they’re pumping sewage into a sewage truck instead of
having the pump working. Instead of dealing with crisis management, I’d like to deal with preventive management.
People should vote for me because:
I’m out there to talk to, I try to answer the questions and I love to hear what I need to work on. I’ve been here for many years and I’ve dealt with a lot of people.