Name: Jillian Dashwood
Background: Resident of Ladysmith for over 17 years. An active member of the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce; board of directors for seven years and organizer for their Gala Awards banquets and Spirit Awards. A past president of the Ladysmith Women’s Business Network. An active member of the Ladysmith Little Theatre in both costumes and makeup. A Realtor with Coast Realty Group, selling resale housing to people moving to Vancouver Island in the region of Mill Bay to North Qualicum.
Giving back to the community has always been important to Jill. This is something that has been important throughout her youth, living in New Zealand for over eight years, Nanaimo first and now Ladysmith. A philosophy of “to give is to receive” is important and absolutely creates a win/win for everybody. After completing the first Leadership program which was sponsored by the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce in 2007, Jill felt that that the program had led her to the knowledge and confidence to put her name forward for council. It has been both an interesting and rewarding journey. Jill wears what she calls “the social hat.” Working with Chamber of Commerce, Affordable Housing, Homelessness, Ladysmith Fire/Rescue (last term), Ladysmith Early Years Partnership and Community Safety Commission (CVRD) have given Jill immense satisfaction, and there is such a desire to do more!
What are your top three issues, and how do you plan to tackle these issues, if elected?
Streamlining of services, both core and public are the right way to effect change at City Hall. By streamlining services, we will be able to utilize the staff we have in new and better ways and provide better, faster service to the people of our community. Revisiting and fine-tuning our Area Plan for the Waterfront can be done in a timely manner and by providing a proper Area Plan that developers can work with and from, will help attain the vision and sustainability that our community is seeking. Economic development is such an important function and one that must be pushed forward to help bring people to our community to thrive and enjoy the type and lifestyle we hold so dear.
We must look to our neighbours in Areas G and H to help fund with important functions that they receive services from, such as our pool and recreation centre, as well as things like Victim Services. We must look at ways to work together to make all our areas function and thrive better.
How do you plan to manage taxes and spending?
Streamlining and making sure each staff member works to optimum capacity without overtaxing the work environment will be one way to help maintain taxes at the current level. Making sure that the taxpayer sees value in what they are paying for — roads, sidewalks, clean streets/sidewalks etc. Communication on how we spend money and what we are doing to be cost effective.
Working on and implementing our vision for our Waterfront, new marina(s), doing something attractive with Slack Point, working with our Area G and H neighbours as well as collaborations and joint ventures with First Nations and finding ways of working with the owners of Lot 5 (the ridge above Slack Point).
What are your thoughts on development and growth in Ladysmith?
Growth is important, but so is maintaining the vision of a small, friendly, heritage community. We have grown by over 2,000 people in the last dozen or so years and have not lost our identity. I believe we must grow some more to achieve both sustainable schools and businesses. We are told that a community of our type should be between 10,000 and 12,000 people to be sustainable. A lot of this growth can come from infill and building on the land that we already have available.
What do you think it takes to lead Ladysmith?
Leadership takes resolve, discipline, a great team and an inclusive leader. I believe that my work ethics and integrity and the belief in a strong team make me one that will help the new council to achieve great goals.
How many council meetings have you attended in the last six months?
Attending Council meetings is imperative to making good decisions. I rarely have missed a Council meeting over the past six years.