Name: Steve Arnett
Occupation: Professional Social Worker and CEO Nanaimo Youth Service Association
• Registered Social Worker BSW, MSW, RSW in practice for 35 years
• 63 years of age, resident of Ladysmith for 21 years
• Married for 36 years with two sons, Matthew, 29, and Christopher, 24, who have been raised in the community both who are local athletes and graduates of the primary, intermediate and secondary schools of Ladysmith
• Executive member of Mid-Isle Soccer 1994-2004
• Chair of Ladysmith Youth Advisory 2001-2002
• President, VP Employment Navigators 1995-1997
• Member Ladysmith Maritime Society
• Celebrations Committee Ladysmith Days – Council Liaison
• Executive Committee Vancouver Island Regional Library 2008-2014
Why are you running for public office?
I haven’t yet accomplished everything I wanted to get done and seek a third term to build upon what has been achieved. We need to continue the significant work that is still left to do related to social diversity and attracting young families who maintain the vitality of our social fabric, provide support for small business retention and recruitment, obtain ownership and protection of our watershed and clean up the problem of derelict polluting vessels in our harbour. All these challenges are related to Ladysmith’s future progress in terms of economic and social health of our beloved community.
What are your top three issues and how do you plan to tackle these issues, if elected?
• Promote healthy social diversity — We must attract young families to Ladysmith in order to maintain ongoing vitality of our economic and social fabric by communicating the quality of life available to grow their children and creating a sustainable, positive development climate as we address the derelict vessel problem and our waterfront potential. We can then market this target group as a potential renewable labor force for succession planning which will attract new small business and light industry to Ladysmith.
• Ownership and control and protection of our local watershed — We need to continue to pursue strategic negotiations that build upon the functional, collaborative working relationships with the Stz’uminus people, TimberWest, the provincial and federal governments we initiated in the current term in order to further influence land titles certainty, statutory authority and leverage funding support for this legacy project. Property and business taxes are not enough to achieve what we must for future generations.
• Small business retention and recruitment — each of us as individual residents and in enough volume must personally commit to shopping loyally local wherever possible to retain businesses and continue to grow a “small business friendly” municipal policy environment that recruits new small business and light industry to Ladysmith.
What does your ideal Ladysmith look like?
A ‘caring town to raise children in’ that is unique in its positive economic and social development because it is ecologically sustainable over the long term. A community characterized by healthy social diversity that honors our First Nations neighbors and friends, that provides for a broad range of affordable well planned housing, recreational green space and sports playing fields for the current and next generation, and where we as stewards of the land own, control and protect our local watershed.
How do you plan to manage taxes and spending?
I will continue to apply the same prudent fiduciary duty, due diligence management for the present, thoughtful financial cost benefit analysis for the future and a long term planning perspective to the town’s budget in the same manner as I successfully operate my own organization.
What are your thoughts on development and growth in Ladysmith?
Reasonable people working together can achieve an appropriate balance between preservation of the natural world while also providing for small footprint development that encourages the necessary economic growth. Tourism and business investment in our town is necessary for us all to thrive. It will be our legacy to our children’s children.
What do you think it takes to lead Ladysmith?
When you are doing the people’s business you need to understand that there is lots of joy in that but to make a considered, thoughtful decision for the future, you need first to do your homework and then be prepared to put in the time.
How long have you lived in the Ladysmith area?
21 years as of Oct. 21, 2014.
How many council meetings have you been to in the last six months?
Regular scheduled Council meetings: 17 in total from May 1 to Oct. 30, 2014.
• Council business related meeting: 37 in total from May 1 to Oct. 30, 2014.
Council Representative or Deputy Mayor duties such as Celebrations Committee (Ladysmith Days), Tour de Roche, Air Cadet Grad, Mayor’s Open Door, Library Board, Stocking Lake Committee, Celebrations Committee, Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce functions, etc. and BC municipality policy conventions AVICC and UBCM.
Please Note: I am employed full time thus any meetings regular Council or Council related business meetings that are scheduled during my working hours require me to book off on earned personal vacation time. On an annual basis over the last six years, I have averaged about two weeks of vacation being used in order to attend to meetings during normal working hours.