Michelle Turnbull is one of two new council candidates looking to claim one of four seats this year.
Turnbull has been mulling a run for elected office over the last three years, and has experience working in the provincial government. Turnbull believes the district has a solid foundation to build on to attract corporate head offices, a hotel or motel, and new stores, and believes that a multi-use recreation facility currently being studied is the biggest opportunity facing the district.
Alaska Highway News has sent out a questionnaire to all candidates in this year's election, asking them about their experience and priorities, what they think the district should be doing to attract new amenities and businesses such as a grocery store, and the biggest challenge the district needs to manage over the next four years.
Responses are being published as they are received. The answers below have been edited for spelling and grammar only.
Name: Michelle Turnbull
How long have you lived in Taylor: 10+ years
Occupation: Sales, Fort City Chrysler
1. Why did you decide to run for council?
I have given serious thought to running for local council the past three years. I made the decision to fully commit in June 2018
2. What experience and skills would you bring to council?
Experience: I have never sat on council before. However, I have worked for the provincial government at both the ministry level and well as a more political level when I was employed by the minister's offices at the B.C. legislature. My skills are heavily centered around customer service. I am able to effectively talk to people, help people with their concerns, and find ways/avenues to address those concerns, and find solutions.
3. What would be your top three priorities if elected, and why?
My top three priorities will be: ensuring that the citizens of Taylor are well represented by someone they can trust to be truthful, transparent, and lead by action. Taylor is really doing well, the great things that are happening in our community, I would like to be a part of this going forward, be a part of that team. I would like to learn more about how exactly our taxes are being distributed and to what programs/services and I have some ideas of possible ways we can attract more business to the community.
4. What programs or services should the district spend more on?
I believe that the current programs and services that are offered are second to none. No other community out there offers the services that our community does. That being said, there is always room for improvement and I look forward to hearing citizens ideas on areas they would like to see improvement in, and how we can go forward to bring those ideas to fruition.
5. What programs or services should the district spend less on?
I don't feel that any service the district currently offers is a waste. All programs and services are well received.
6. Would you support raising taxes to support council priorities?
It would depend on what those priorities are and exactly how they are to be delivered and for how long. Who will benefit?
7. What should the district be doing to attract a grocery store?
The district has been trying for years to attract a grocery store. The reality is there needs to be outside interest and investment. A grocery store is a HUGE investment. Fort St. John is a mere 10 minutes away. The district would have to offer the investor some big tax breaks and incentive for that investment to come about. I don't believe that there should be just a grocery store. It needs to be unique and offer more than just groceries to be a lucrative business.
8. What other businesses and industries should the district be working to attract?
I personally think Taylor is an ideal place to set up head offices for a number of oil and gas companies. I would also like to see a new hotel/motel at some point. Lots of travelers on the highway, it would be excellent for them to stop, enjoy all the fabulous amenities our community has to offer, and have a nice, safe place to stay.
9. What should the district be doing to attract and retain new residents?
Seems to me that more and more people are discovering what a great place Taylor is. More homes are being built, more people investing by buying these houses/condos, and it is evident by the events the district hosts, that it is really catching on just how great the community is. When people flock to Taylor for the Halloween party and fireworks, the Christmas party, Easter party, etc. it really says a lot about what we have to offer. Our services are high, and taxes are reasonable.
10. Do you support a pay raise for mayor and council?
Yes, I do support remuneration for extended meeting times.
11. What's the biggest opportunity facing the district over the next four years?
I think the biggest opportunity we have in front of us, is the huge multi-recreation facility that is currently being studied. This would be such an incredible opportunity for Taylor!
12. What's the toughest challenge facing the district over the next four years?
I think the toughest challenge is going to be keeping the community united and working together to tackle zoning issues.
Finish this sentence: When I'm not deep in thought about politics and civic issues, I'm…
... working, at my son's hockey/lacrosse practices, doing mom stuff, cooking, and spending time with my friends.
What's the last book you read?
Christy Clark: Behind the Smile
What's the last movie you watched?
The best hidden gem of Taylor is…
If you weren't living in Taylor, where would you be?
Somewhere in the bush near Pink Mountain or complete opposite, downtown Vancouver.
Want to know more about Michelle Turnbull? She can be reached by phone at 250-261-9774, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at email@example.com.