This year’s Fraser Lake municipal election will be the first time Joe Jenkinson has run for office.
After living in the village for 25 years, he says he wants to be a part of a team to help push Fraser Lake forward into the future.
Jenkinson has been with Endako Mines since living in town and is now holding a superintendent role, where he runs crews of up to 38 people and takes cares of budgeting.
He says he’s a leader.
“I always have been,” he says. “I believe if you want positive change you have to stand up.”
In addition to his work at the mine, Jenkinson has also been a paramedic with BC Ambulance Service for over 26 years.
“I think it helps my decision making and helps me control my emotions,” he says of the work. “You don’t make decisions based on emotions [in that line of work], you base them on fact and knowledge.
“The job also helps with my concept of teamwork,” he continues. “I know that one person can’t make all the difference but as a team they can be part of a change.”
Despite being in possession of many qualities that might make for a good councillor, Jenkinson did not think he was ready before now.
“I wanted to run in the last two elections but didn’t believe I was prepared enough,” he says, admitting expressing himself in a public forum was an area where he felt nervous.
“So I gave public tours of the mine and started teaching at the school, as I’m a millwright by trade, and it gave me the confidence to public speak.”
Jenkinson says the demographic of Fraser Lake has changed dramatically and as a result the village needs to start getting some solid long term health care workers as well as full-time doctors.
He would also like to see maintenance done on the town’s infrastructure – preferably maintenance that isn’t just patch ups and will last for the next 50 years.
Most importantly, Jenkinson says, the village needs to return to a place of stability that it hasn’t seen since the mine closed.
He stresses his commitment to the community. “My wife Jody and I have raised three kids in Fraser Lake,” he says.
“We built a house four years ago and we plan on staying. We are making Fraser Lake our home and I have a vested interest in this community. I want to see it flourish and I think I can be a part of that and make change happen.”