Mark Stephens. (Photo submitted)

Three questions for Parksville councillor candidate Mark Stephens

Candidate for councillor

Do you support the facility proposed for 222 Corfield? Why or why not?

My campaign theme is “Make Where We Live Better”. I support respecting that the current council (as a whole) has made a decision on the facility proposed for 222 Corfield and moving on from that to address other community issues and priorities.

I see the role of the next council with respect to the facility proposed for 222 Corfield is to ensure the proper implementation of that decision with due regard to the legal process currently in play. Beyond that, the next council has the responsibility to respond to other community needs and opportunities.

How will you balance the needs of seniors and those of younger residents?

My campaign theme is “Make Where We Live Better”.

We need to move the interests of both seniors and younger residents forward to “make where we live better”.

This starts with having a mindset at the council and community level of encouraging projects and opportunities from a cross-generational perspective instead of an ‘either/or’ tradeoff.

This could be a factor in guiding grant-in-aid decisions, along with important other elements in the life cycle of activities such as the ‘seed money’ for creative initiatives; to ‘catalyst money’ for supporting a project to the next stage; to ‘operating money’ for transitioning a project to other sources of funding beyond that of local government funding.

There is an ongoing opportunity to address the needs of seniors and younger residents by involving both groups in combined programs and activities.

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

My campaign theme is “Make Where We Live Better”.

The next council has an important stewardship role in that, so rather than focus on what sets me apart from the other candidates, I prefer to focus on traits that would support a respectful and collaborative atmosphere. I am known as a calm person, who listens well to all sides of an issue and who is resilient in the face of conflict or crisis.

I have considerable experience in the corporate world as a director, chief financial officer and corporate secretary of public companies, as well as working for First Nations and related Treaty Organizations on Vancouver Island as a past director of operations and a current chief administrative officer dealing with local, provincial and federal governments and agencies.

My volunteer work has been environmentally oriented, including supporting my son, Christopher Stephens, with his Parksville Wetlands Initiative that was a catalyst for the current council acquiring the Parksville Wetlands in 2017.

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