Leanne Salter, running for RDN Electoral Area F director, in Oct. 20 civic election. - Lauren Collins photo

Three questions for RDN candidate Leanne Salter

Candidate for Area F (Coombs, Hilliers, Errington)

What do you feel is the most pressing election issue in your area?

The most pressing issue in Area F is the pending Official Community Plan (OCP) review – the first since 1999. Many polices were changed from the original OCP by RDN staff that were inconsistent with community values. These changes must be appropriately corrected and addressed through a community driven process. I published an article in Dialogue Magazine which provided insight into the usual outcomes of OCP’s and why they are amended after the community have provided input. The amendments often leave people feeling that they were not listened to.

It will be my focus as Area F Director, to ensure that the OCP does not get amended without community engagement and discussion – recognizing that the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) must be met

If elected, how will you bring about change?

If elected, I will ensure the RDN serves community residents in a courteous manner that recognizes and respects the property and privacy rights of Area F residents. Where regulations are introduced, they must conform to our local values, not those of bureaucrats and elected people from other (more urban) areas. In this way, I will continue the cautious approach of current director Julian Fell. Although the director’s role is to provide a bridge between the community and the Regional District, when a conflict develops, my loyalty will first be to those I represent. I will work hard to preserve our rural lifestyles. I recognize that there are administrative functions in electoral areas that are driven by the province and beyond Regional District authority.

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

I bring significant experience as an alternate Area F director from 2011 – 2014.

During that time, my duties included working on the Parks and Open Spaces Committee, attending local Emergency Response Annual General Meetings and attending to a variety of resident’s issues.

As councillor for the City of Parksville (2014 – 2018), my appointments include; serving on the Financial Audit Committee; Liaison for the Brant Wildlife Committee; Liaison at the Parksville Museum; Liaison at the Parksville Community Gardens and alternate Liaison with the Oceanside Homeless Task Force Society.

Through my community volunteer experience, I opened a house for men who were leaving incarceration as well as housing men with medical needs.

I invited community partners including the City of Nanaimo to open a community dental clinic for those with no dental coverage. I have developed strong working relationships with all levels of government to assist with issues that impact our community.

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