Ken Young is running for re-election to council.
He has served as a councillor for the District of Vanderhoof for the past four years, and, he said via email, he’s running because “I believe in this town and I am proud of it and the residents who make it unique.”
Young says he wants to continue to work with groups in the community to make sure that it is a “safe, secure, vibrant and positive place” for all those who live in or visit Vanderhoof.
His family moved to the area more than fifty years ago, as his parents left Vancouver seeking a community where they could start a farm.
Young, now the principal of Nechako Valley Secondary School, talks about growing up on that farm and in Vanderhoof, learning to take care of animals be a good friend and neighbour. He also mentions meeting his best and wife in Vanderhoof.
“I am so glad that my kids and my grandkids are having that same experience,” he wrote via email.
In addition to his time on council, Young has also served as a director of the Fall Fair, the chair of the Integris Community Foundation, and a coach on many of his children’s sports teams, among others.
There are a wide variety of issues he would like to work on if he is re-elected to council.
Housing, something he refers to as “a pivotal issue for Vanderhoof” is on the list. He mentions needing appropriate housing for seniors, adequate housing for low-income people and starter homes for young families in his priorities.
He would also like to consider diversification of the economy. He say council needs to ensure it is “a strong voice” supporting and encouraging industry and investors. He also wrote “Capitalizing on opportunities to tout this town as a service hub through LNG projects/the NewGold Mine project and anything else that would benefit our citizens and expanding and diversifying the community is a key responsibility for council. We must not wait for things to come to us – we need to go out and get them.”
Young mentions seeing the completion of the skateboard park as another one of his main priorities, and a project he is currently co-chairing on council. He would also like to continue working to expand and maintain the trail system in the district.
He also wants to focus on tourism, and coming up with a strategy to address areas of “untapped” potential, like the sturgeon facility. He says the plan must also include the museum and a new tourist information centre.
Young also wants to address issues with the Nechako River. “Our community deserves certainty regarding flooding. Our agriculture community needs to know their land will stop eroding and irrigation will not disappear. We can do better in protecting our river… we must. These are things that are worth fighting for,” he wrote via email.
At the end of the day, Young believes the district needs a plan: “We cannot just react but must be proactive and able to adapt to economic, environmental and political ebbs and flows.”