Name: Thea (Taya) Melvin
Occupation: Switchboard operator for the RCMP
Background: 43-year-old married mother of two teenage sons; born and raised in Ladysmith; Served Ladysmith/Cowichan on the Citizens Assembly on Electoral Reform.
Why are you running for public office?
I’m running for council because I want to give back to my fellow residents and community; I’m very outspoken and know that I will be a voice for regular persons like myself and that suggestions, concerns, ideas and visions will all be heard around the council table.
What are your top three issues and how do you plan to tackle these issues, if elected?
Top 3 Issues I feel are important are: FireHall; our essential service building must be replaced; It’s a matter of safety for our residents and for the 33 volunteers who work there. It has to be put to the top of the priority list and funds need to be found within our budget to get the work done.
Second is infrastructure: our roads are terrible, as are sidewalks and lighting
Thirdly, our downtown core/waterfront. Sustainable businesses that will bring in tourism and make Ladysmith a Go To destination, not one people just pass by; it will provide income for the shop owners and our town but will provide employment for our residents and give people a reason to Want to stay and shop locally.
What does your ideal Ladysmith look like?
My Ladysmith is already a Great Town, but I see us continuing to improve; I want our children to want to stay and live here and know that they don’t have to leave in order to find work; I want all of our residents to have activities to do and be able to live a full and fun life here. I want others to enjoy our beach and our small town community and help sustain our economy by coming to visit us; I see us continuing to thrive and have all our shops downtown full and providing services for our local residents as well.
How do you plan to manage taxes and spending?
Our taxes are already quite high, and we need to make sure that they are not increased. We need to prioritize our spending, utilize grant money so that we accomplish our visions without burdening the taxpayers any more. Doing away with all of our surveys is one cost saving option. We also need to look at our administrative costs and at our non-essential expenditures; we need to make sure services provided are the most cost-effective services rendered.
What are your thoughts on development and growth in Ladysmith?
Growth is a negative when we can’t sustain our own residents; I’m not opposed to growth, but it has to be beneficial for our town and our current residents. Having family oriented persons move to town would be wonderful, but where will their kids go to school? Do we have the facilities? Are they in good condition? Can we provide the infrastructures so that persons are safe and looked after? How will our seniors do if they can’t drive? We need sustainability and security for our own residents, and until our needs are met, how can we expand?
What do you think it takes to lead Ladysmith?
I think that persons leading our Town have to Truly have a desire to Serve their community; Having credentials means they have education but are they here to Listen and do what the Community wants or what’s on their own agenda? Persons need to be Strong; they will Stand Up for our residents and and they will be Honest, straightforward, transparent and accountable, Always. They will show that actions truly speak louder than words.
How long have you lived in the Ladysmith area?
I was born and raised in Ladysmith :)
How many council meetings have you attended in the last six months?
I attended council to stand up for our Victim Services, a service I deem to be very important for our residents and one which is very under-funded.