It's getting down to crunch time for the 2018 municipal election in Nelson.
The Nelson Daily has opened the door for council candidates to pitch voters with their respective platforms in the lead up the October 20th vote.
In this installment, Robbie Kalabis, Keith Page and Bob Adams capture center stage as voters glean a bit more information before making their decision Saturday in the voting booth at Central School.
Other candidates on the ballot include, Brittny Anderson, Robin Cherbo, Travis Hauck, Michelle Hillaby, Charles Jeanes, Rik Logtenberg, Janice Morrison, Joseph Reiner, Rob Richichi, Brian Shields, Margaret Stacey, Stephanie Wiggins, Jesse Woodward, Leslie Payne, Cal Renwick and Laureen Barker.
I was born and raised in Nelson and spent over 30 years here.
Robbie has worked both in the private sector and as a public servant for the province of BC since 2005, where he has held positions with the Ministry of Forests, Environment and currently Transportation and Infrastructure.
On a daily basis Robbie works with teams of professionals to successfully deliver multi-million dollar infrastructure projects, while liaising and partnering with regional districts, other provincial governments, members of the public, special interest groups and other stakeholders.
Robbie has an abundance of civic pride and is an active member of the community having been a volunteer structural fire fighter for a combined 7 years with the Nelson Fire Department and the North Shore Fire Department.
"I have a balanced education, with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and a Project Management Professional designation that lends itself to working with and for people from one end of the political spectrum to the other. I pride myself on getting along with most anyone and am able to see other people’s perspectives, envisioning what it would be like to be in their shoes."
"My skillset in project management uniquely positions me to be an asset to Nelson City Council, as most any issues and topic require bringing the right people together to collaborate and find consensus to bring about real positive changes. This is something I already do as a public servant on a daily basis."
Since moving to Nelson in 2006, I have remained heavily involved in the community. I founded The Repair Factory six years ago and have been a volunteer firefighter with the Nelson Fire Rescue Auxiliary for four years. I am proud to call Nelson home and for the opportunity to work with fellow community members to better our town.
Effectively combating poverty and income inequality in Nelson requires a multi-dimensional approach. First, we need to address our housing crisis. Vacancy rates are alarmingly low and many people are without a place to call home. Secondly, we need to foster quality employment that provides an income for individuals and families to afford housing. These changes won’t happen overnight but is important we begin now to ensure positive progress.
We need a comprehensive climate change response plan to keep our beautiful community safe. The changing climate threatens our way of life as forest fires become a more prominent threat every year. Not only do we need to improve our action plan in case disaster strikes, but implement an effective prevention strategy and emissions reduction proposal.
Finally, the downtown core showcases the heart of Nelson; the vibrancy, beauty, prosperity and diversity. With the Baker Street upgrades on the horizon, steps need to be taken manage the inevitable disruptions to minimize impacts on businesses and residents. By working to rebuild the Nelson Downtown Business Association, we will have a community forum for downtown business owners to tackle the issues facing our core together. From homelessness to Christmas lights, together we will create solutions to help this area flourish.
I am excited with the opportunity to sit on Nelson City Council to support these important issues, and the other issues we will face as a community, for the next four years
My motive for running again is to help ensure that Nelson continues to improve and grow. My wife Lynn and our children Blake and Jennifer moved to Nelson in 1978. We moved from Estevan Saskatchewan so that I could take the job as Director of Works and Services with the City of Nelson. I retired in 2005 and was elected to council that year. I ran for council so that I could continue to help Nelson move forward.
The top issue is the replacement and repair of our city services, water, sewer, streets, sidewalks, and storm sewer. Some of these are getting close to 100 years old and need to be addressed.
The top issues facing Nelson is the cost to build a home. We have approved Laneway housing which is smaller and therefore less expensive to construct. This should result in cheaper rents. The city could reduce the fees and charges for the construction of housing for vulnerable people as well as for a bus and recreation pass for these vulnerable people could also be given out.