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Three candidates vie for Westside director seat

Incumbent Jim Edgson, Aaron Dinwoodie and Dave Robertson are hoping to earn votes in their pursuit for the title of regional director of the Central Okanagan west electoral area.

Edgson, who is wrapping up his second term as regional director, said that he has enjoyed his time serving the public thus far and hopes to continue to do so.

“I made up my mind four years ago, when I first ran, that I wanted to serve people. I’m not a politician, I’m a servant,” said Edgson.

Saying that he “loves the job,” Edgson was quick to mention that there is no shortage of dedication required to fulfill the role.

“I’m literally on call all the time. I have approximately 120 kilometres from the north end to the south end to travel in my electoral area.

“I’m also proud to say that I wear out batteries on my cell phone talking to people.”

Edgson said that he wouldn’t be an effective regional director without the support of his family, friends and the constituency.

According to Edgson, he is the best candidate due to his experience, dedication to visit constituents and ability to “bulldog information.”

“Whoever wins has to understand one thing, they’re one vote of 12. You need the support of your team. You have to be the type of politician that has a history of digging. Some people call me a bulldog when I get the information,” said 67-year-old Edgson.

“You don’t have to train me again. I’ve got the track record of being tenacious, persistent and bulldogging everything I can.”

Edgson said that his biggest attribute is his consistency.

“I’ve lived here since 1998 and I’ve put my whole heart into this job. I haven’t moved away. Take a look what I’ve done for you, take a look at what I’m doing for you and take a look at the potential I’ve got.

“Complacency is not a word I understand. There are two other words I don’t understand: Can’t and fear.”

Edgson’s campaign strategy is to knock on as many doors as he can get to.  “I don’t care if it rains or shines, you’re going to see me knocking on doors.”

Those interested can find more information about Jim Edgson at www.edgson.ca.

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Aaron Dinwoodie, a former Westside regional director and former president of the B.C. Municipal Association, announced his candidacy for regional director on Friday, Oct. 14.

Dinwoodie said his motivation for running comes from his will to serve residents in the area.

“It’s all about people. You have to love people in the political game. If you don’t love people, you shouldn’t be in it,” said Dinwoodie.

“I’ve always loved the Westside. That’s why I’m running.”

Dinwoodie said that he plans to hold the federal government’s feet to the fire with respect to equitable funding for RCMP policing services and community policing programs.

Dinwoodie said that he wants safety improvements to continue on Westside Road and that he is focused on protecting watershed resources and the natural environment.

Another area of concern for Dinwoodie is that the area gets funding for rural roads and interface fire protection.

During his first stint as a Westside regional director, Dinwoodie walked the entire electoral area to familiarize himself with what he would be representing.

He feels that past experience makes him the best candidate.

“I think what I bring to the table is a lot of experience with respect to working with senior government,” said Dinwoodie. “I’ve got lots of energy, lots of drive. I’ve always been a very motivated person and very determined to work hard for people.”

For more information about Aaron Dinwoodie’s platform, email dinwoodieaaron@yahoo.com.

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Dave Robertson has lived in the valley for more than 30 years. Fifteen of those years were spent helping out as a volunteer firefighter. He has also spent time as a director for various community groups.

He said that there is a voice that isn’t being heard in the west electoral area and he’s hoping to change that.

“I’ve gained a lot of insight on how the system works  and I’d like to have better input for us into the system because I’ve found it doesn’t work as well as the people out here would like it to,” said Robertson.

“The reason for that is because a lot of things happen behind closed doors that we don’t know about, and then they’re sprung on us. The directors and politicians should be open. That’s why I’m running, because they’re not open.”

Robertson said that a lot of his experience has been gained through attending regional district meetings and “working extensively” with the CORD staff.

He is promising that he will hold town hall meetings throughout the district as a proactive approach to discuss controversial issues. “It’s vitally important because a lot of us don’t know what’s going on in the regional district. You have to have open public meetings to discuss issues, long before they happen.”

According to Robertson, his teamwork mentality makes him the best candidate for the position.

“I can work constructively with people. I’ve got a talent for getting the best ideas out of people and reaching a consensus and helping make the whole thing work rather than being a control freak and trying to run everything my own way.”

Robertson ran against Edgson in 2007 and 2008, and came up short on both occasions. Similar to those campaigns, his strategy is still focused around meeting residents in person.

“I think the best way is to go door to door and talk to people so they can see you and see your body language and see how you’re talking. People are a lot cleverer than politicians give them credit for. They can see through you right away if you give them a lie and treat them like mushrooms.”

Through his campaign he has noticed that many people are complaining about the same issues that had them concerned back in 2008. “I’m traveling through the district now, getting an idea of all their issues, which are basically the same as they were three years ago. They don’t seem to have been resolved at all.”

Robertson said in order for change to occur, more voters will have to get out and let their opinion count. “The issues are very important this year and I (hope) we’ll have a better turnout. If people want to have a voice they have to get off their butts and go vote on a cold November night.”

For more information about Dave Robertson, visit www.rocdoc.ca.

 

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