Meet the candidates for Councillor: Ted Anchor

Ted Anchor is a 20-year resident of Lillooet. He retired here from a job in Victoria with the Ministry of the Attorney General and Solicitor General, where he served as the ministry’s Occupational Health and Safety Hygiene Specialist and an inspector (jails, courthouses, etc.) and investigator. He was elected Mayor of Lillooet in 2011 but resigned in 2012 after serving 30 days in that position.

The experience he would bring to council:

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There were times I had to invent the wheel and that was in negotiating to get things done. I was also the president of a strata title in Victoria and that can be equated in a minor way to being on council. But structurally it’s very much the same.

On his resignation in 2012:

It was a question of honour. What people don’t talk about is I resigned with Kevin Taylor, a two-term mayor. We talked with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs who said they’d never seen anything like it. And that was corroborated by the two consultants – Tom Day and Ken Bjorgaard - who also said they’d never seen anything like Lillooet’s finances. I resigned over finances, over discussions with (then-CAO) Grant Loyer – we weren’t happy with that - and over the flooding on Mountainview Road.

Mountainview Road was the big one and we knew it was a big liability issue. I worked for the Ministry of the Attorney-General and with the Legal Services Branch. The rule of thumb is: If you find yourself in a murky position and it could have some legalities and liabilities, get out. I know how people feel – people say I quit, but really I haven’t quit. I resigned. I still carried on, trying to help the town. I even tried to help this council with a communication policy. They received my correspondence but did not discuss it.

On his current Small Claims Court lawsuit seeking $35,000 plus interest from the District of Lillooet to recover legal fees associated with a previous lawsuit:

It’s simple – I recuse myself from those discussions. It’s something that’s not tidy but it has to have some conclusion at some point. And I’m not trying to engage with any other people running for council to work on that.

Future priorities:

I’m an organizer and I like to see things organized. The biggest priority is the finances. Council are the trustees of the finances. It’s like taking over a business and we need to know the books are in order. How we do that is a collective issue but I’d like to see an umbrella framework that looks at regional growth strategies, combine it with the OCP (Official Community Plan) and the George Cuff report on governance.

The biggest thing is effective communication and that’s why I submitted that communication policy. Starting out, how are we going to communicate with the public. This is so important – what is our role with the public? What is our role with the staff? There’s got to be some strategic planning with administration and that ties in with strategic objectives. Getting the OCP done and more important, getting the First Nations involved in all this process, is important.

Then we can look at the REC Centre and planning there. One of the province’s priorities is to look at recreation and culture in areas where there’s a large First Nations population. If we haven’t looked at that, we should. Also with the federal government, we have to be quick on the ball because I don’t think it’s going to last. The federal government says it’s got money for infrastructure and they’ve got money for firefighters and I think we could have a fire-fighting unit and training centre at the airport. I don’t think these fires and floods in B.C. are going away.

Another thing I’d like to look at is establishing a primary health care centre here. There’s concern about the doctors leaving and were only using five beds at the hospital, so we could become a primary health care centre and take the stress and pressure off Kamloops, plus people wouldn’t have to travel that far.

And we need to meet with the community to discuss all these issues. As George Cuff says, “The broad agenda should come from the community.” We need to include them and that is probably the most important single thing. Councils over the past decade have not communicated well. If you don’t do that you’re not going to have any success. Every successful community has an advisory planning commission

And I want the pool open year-round. That’s the goal. It may be eight months. We need it for the kids, mainly for the kids. And a kiddies’ water park on the lawn.

People should vote for me because…

I care. When I resigned I helped the flood victims - Robert and Shelley Leech and I helped the two homeowners in Conwayville. If I didn’t help them, they would have been out of luck. I obtained for them a document to do with hydrology that helped them in their cases. I think the way the District dealt with them was terrible. I care.

Everything I do is honest, fair, professional, ethical and well thought out. I consider myself a visionary leader.

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