Jim Banks was a Parksville councillor for 12 years to 2002, a District of Sparwood councillor for the last six years and now he’s offering his depth of experience to Parksville again.
He lived in Parksville for 23 years and it became home before moving to Sparwood in the East Kootenays for family reasons. During his 10 years there, he and his wife missed home and wanted to come back to the Island.
Parksville’s relative lack of snow helped the decision, he quipped.
“I believe in Parksville,” he said, adding he has talked to people, including senior city staff, about the current issues and many of them are the same as in the 1990s — including needing to secure the city’s water supply.
He was part of the group that initiated the Arrowsmith Water Service and he believes he has expertise to contribute, but he suggests council is mostly pretty basic stuff.
“Municipal politics are not glamorous, its about making sure you have roads without potholes, that the sidewalks go where they’re supposed to, the sewers go where they’re supposed to.”
Banks spent 15 years as a medic in the regular army before getting a diploma in hospital administration in the mid 1960s and embarking on a career in that field.
He initially came to Parksville to build Trillium Lodge, which he called an “18 year love affair.”
While he’s not up to date on the planned Oceanside health centre details, he said in general they are a good use of resources.
He said a community health centre in Sparwood in a closed hospital has been very successful and he’s generally happy with staged medical care like that.
“I’m not gung-ho on a hospital, I know we can’t sustain a full service hospital,” he said pointing out that among many problems there aren’t enough specialists in the area.