RDCK Election 2011: Ron Greenlaw looks to carry on family tradition in Area D
For four generations Ron Greenlaw’s family has resided in regional district Area D’s Lardeau Valley.
It is that sense of place and connection to the people who live in the valley — and the rest of Area D — that enticed Greenlaw into the public arena as he makes his bid for the directorship of the regional district area on Nov. 19.
Running against incumbent Andy Shadrack in a two-horse race, Greenlaw’s name may be familiar to voters across the area — his father Larry previously ran and won the seat.
But it wasn’t so much following in the footsteps of his father than wanting to take up the opportunity to help the area grow and prosper for the benefit of all residents, he said.
“I am not a professional politician with a political agenda,” he said. “I will represent all Area D residents in a fair and honest manner. I also live in Area D and I have a direct interest in any tax increases that will impact our area.”
This is a diverse area with diverse interests, Greenlaw explained, but there are some common themes and needs that all parts of Area D share.
Strong communities need solid basic services, he said, like health care, education, clean drinking water, waste management, safe roads and a respect for the environment.
“Once these needs are met, we need to keep further regulations and laws to a minimum,” he said. “We have to trust our neighbours to decide the direction of their communities.
And it is the roster of neighbours in Area D that is suffering, said Greenlaw. The list of people who have to leave their homes in order to find work is getting longer and it is hurting the area.
He pointed to the area’s struggling economy as one of the major issues of concern, one that he plans to address by creating an environment where entrepreneurs have the support to start a new business.
“We need to work together to find innovative ways to create local opportunities for local residents,” he said. “By creating local jobs, more of our residents would have the opportunity to be employed locally.”
The spinoff of a healthier economy would boost the area’s tax base, ensuring schools, hospitals, recreational facilities and local businesses would thrive, he said.
Greenlaw also raised ethics and transparency as hallmarks of his directorships should he attain office. He vowed to keep people informed regularly with a quarterly newsletter, through social media, email updates and information posted on his website.
In addition, Greenlaw felt the regional district needed to minimize and make regulations simple and realistic, thereby making housing affordable. Accountability in the spending of RDCK tax dollars and a say in any increases was also paramount for Greenlaw.
Although Greenlaw has never held political office, the skills he gained by owning and operating two small businesses, working in the tourism industry, and growing up in the area, now allow him to understand the diverse nature of the area.
“I decided to run for Area D director because we need someone who can help residents create a positive change, and I would like to help achieve that,” he said.
Greenlaw has owned and operated a snow cat skiing operation as well as a small excavating company and currently works for BC Hydro at the Duncan Dam.