Name: Duck (Don) Paterson
Background: Resident of Ladysmith since 1975. Local volunteer. Married with three daughters and six grandchildren, with four of them (and their moms and dads) living in Ladysmith.
Why are you running for public office?
I care about Ladysmith and its future. It has great potential and a very strong community spirit. I believe that I can be part of a team that can continue to keep Ladysmith a place we all are proud to call home!
What are your top three issues and how do you plan to tackle these issues, if elected?
Well firstly … to keep Ladysmith affordable. To work to try and balance the needs of the Town as well as the future projects with the revenues, which would include hiring an Economic Development person to work on new, and hopefully, innovative means of finding new business to create jobs. Another priority is to establish a communication tool that will reach EVERY HOME in Ladysmith. It would be quarterly and written by the people that are doing the work so that the information getting into the community is informative and up to date. I also think a priority would be to look at, and start to put into action, a strategy to address our infrastructure needs and costs. This plan should be “written in stone” and involve roads, sidewalks, water, sewer, storm and all the basics … and having said all that … looking and listening to what priorities others may have and weigh everything that is put on the table. Look at it all as a team!
What does your ideal Ladysmith look like?
I believe that the “ideal” Ladysmith looks like it does today (physically a neat town on the hillside by the water) … but with business and light industry that is working and helping to create jobs. I hope it would have a harbour that is cleaned up and in the process of being enhanced with a vision from the community. It has good rapport with our neighbours, Stz’uminus First Nation, as well as areas G & H and working in partnership on how we collectively can make the entire area prosper. Continue to have a population that cares and gets involved. Our community is recognized, by others, as being innovative and a leader and I hope that we continue that tradition.
How do you plan to manage taxes and spending?
Firstly … As in the past … try to balance the dollars taken in with the actual needs of the community combined with the desires of what the residents want to have. Continue to work on new, and hopefully, innovative means of finding new money. Establish an Economic Development position that has a budget and mandate to work with different agencies and partners to attract business, clean industry and jobs which, I believe, will help with the tax burden.
What are your thoughts on development and growth in Ladysmith?
To remain sustainable, we need to have growth. I think we can achieve this with careful planning and consultation. We need to look years down the road and what we need now and what we will need in the future. Our downtown is the “living room of our home” and we need to find solutions to make it prosper and attract others. We need to encourage business and light industry so that we have the jobs that support local business and support the needs of the town itself.
What do you think it takes to lead Ladysmith?
It takes being a member of a team that works hard to address needs and opportunities that face our town. A member of a team that listens to the community and weighs all subjects on feasibility and benefit to the overall community. It takes a person that cares about where they live and the desire to make our town a place that we all call home.
How long have you lived in the Ladysmith area?
We have lived in Ladysmith since 1975.
How many council meetings have you been to in the last six months?
I have attended them all except for one in July.