Name: Carol Henderson
Occupation: retired teacher/administrator
Background: Born in Uganda; educated in Australia, England and Canada; worked in Canada and Scotland; married; two married sons and two grandsons.
Why are you running for public office?
I believe that the residents of Ladysmith want a representative on council who speaks after duly considering input from the people and one who remains answerable for decisions made.
What are your top three issues and how do you plan to tackle these issues, if elected?
1. Gaining the trust of the people in the council they elect. This would take time. I would personally question: the reasons for in-camera meetings, perceived conflict of interest issues and the lack of town hall style public forums.
2. Resolving issues, such as the waterfront development and revitalization of the downtown core, that have seen prolonged study and no progress. Citizens bringing concerns to council deserve a full response. We need working committees and due dates to get these issues out of the “to do” pile.
3. Managing the watershed requires ongoing vigilance. A Watershed Board may be in order. The observations and recommendations of those who are regularly in the watershed could be an asset to management by the staff.
What does your ideal Ladysmith look like?
My “ideal” Ladysmith would be represented by a council that works for a clean, safe, environmentally healthy town where people of all ages and situations can meet their basic needs. For those unable to do so independently, services would be available. Facilities and opportunities to partake in arts and cultural events, sports and recreation, both indoors and out, and accessible family services that include great day care and schools would be present. Lastly, public green space along the waterfront would be established, and protected natural and wild areas along the creeks and the hills would be preserved. This rich environment would encompass a thriving, beautiful business area at the centre of our small town.
How do you plan to manage taxes and spending?
Municipal taxes are used to cover costs of at least 15 services. Value for the money spent must be assured. If tax incentives for start up business were available, I think that would be a welcome break and encourage some fill-in on our main street. Contracts must account for every aspect of the job ahead of time with bonds posted for failed enterprise. The town must use inspectors and qualified consulting engineers to ensure costly mistakes are avoided when granting permits.
What are your thoughts on development and growth in Ladysmith?
Continuing growth in population will occur especially if the town improves services and infrastructure for all ages. There is ample land already zoned for this within our boundaries. Development practices have to be more environmentally responsible than those seen in recent examples.There should be a timeline within which a development is completed.
We have the potential for economic growth opportunities on the waterfront, creating recreational infrastructure that will attract tourists and islanders to our town. With integrated publicity that promotes the waterfront and links the revitalized downtown core as a superb destination, all will win.
What do you think it takes to lead Ladysmith?
Based upon having strong analytical skills and the confidence to make tough decisions in the face of strong opposition, a leader must be able to communicate clearly with honest, straightforward intent. Communication includes active listening. The town’s people, council and the staff need assurance and information as common goals are prioritized, set, reviewed and achieved.
How long have you lived in the Ladysmith area?
How many council meetings have you been to in the last six months?
Five, perhaps more … I haven’t been counting.