RDCK Election 2011: Mountain of Area D work still left to be done for Andy Shadrack
For those who have a “to do” list longer than their arm, they can relate to incumbent Area D director Andy Shadrack.
In letting his name stand for the third time in the largest regional district rural area in Central Kootenay, Shadrack was hoping to make more headway on the mountain of projects he has on his shoulders.
Shadrack, who goes up against Ron Greenlaw on Nov. 19 for the area’s directorship, said the last six years of work were enjoyable, but not complete.
“And I just feel I can devote another three years to working on local issues,” he said.
He pointed to the Kootenay Lake Stewardship Partnership as something he still wanted to fulfill, as well as continued work in the Lardeau Valley to help rebuild the economy up there — and across the area.
In fact, he claims the Lardeau as a small victory in that job creation regard, with three new full time jobs sprouting in Meadow Creek at a greenhouse business for an investment of under $100,000. The area helped subsidize the start up.
Shadrack contrasted that with Axor’s hydroelectric project that was going to create six jobs for an investment in excess of $200 million.
Other projects are afoot, Shadrack said, but the high price of land was preventing people from experimenting. And it was the cost of real estate that Shadrack saw another one of his challenges.
People mention housing and affordability around land as one of the major roadblocks to establishing community in the area. Although not something he has jurisdiction over, Shadrack felt some work could still be done.
“A regional district director can play a role in bringing the right federal and provincial agencies and organizations together to work with people to create change,” he said.
Shadrack first came to the Kootenays in 1973 as a student at Notre Dame University in Nelson, having immigrated from England as an agricultural labourer in 1970. He went on to obtain an MA in Political Science at the University of Regina, returning to Kaslo with his partner Gail Bauman and daughter Erin in 1987.
After working as a consultant to Saskatchewan Power and Medicine Hat College — as well as a low income housing organization and as a trade union organizer — he taught first and second year political science at Selkirk College in Castlegar (1989 to 2002) and then at Okanagan University College until he retired in 2005.
Politics has long been part of Shadrack’s life, becoming active in 1963. He was first elected as the director for Area D in November, 2005, and served on the Central Waste Committee and as chair of the Rural Affairs standing committee. He is also vice-president of the Association of Kootenay Boundary Local Governments.
Within the broader scope of the area’s issues, Shadrack juggles the countless region-specific situations.
For example, in Kaslo he reached agreement to do a transfer of assets and service of the Kaslo Fire Department to the regional district. They now have to go to a referendum and hold a series of public meetings to see if that is what people want, he said.
“In and of themselves, they are not priority issues for the whole of Area D, but for the communities and groups that are working on those things, they are priorities,” he said.