Change in Direction — Nelson's CORE announces candidates
“It’s clear that the City needs a change of direction” was the tone of one of the three candidates running on Nelson’s CORE party slate a media release said.
Cal Renwick, a recently-retired entrepreneur with deep family and business roots in Nelson, said despite all of the economic ups and downs Nelson has endured over the years, the city has never experienced the decline he’s seen during the past three years.
“It’s clear that the City needs a change of direction,” said Renwick.
The Nelson native is joined by sales professional and single-mom Michelle Hillaby along with early childhood educator Stephanie Wiggins.
The trio were recently approved by the group to run under the CORE banner in election this October.
“When I look at how Baker Street has been allowed to deteriorate, with aggressive panhandling and open drug use and violence; when I hear tourists for the first time ever saying that they won’t come back to Nelson; and when I hear residents say that they are scared to visit their own downtown, it’s clear that new leadership is needed at Council,” Renwick exclaimed in the release.
CORE is non-partisan and crosses all political and socio-economic boundaries, and these first candidates clearly represent that diversity,” said Paul Cowan, CORE spokesperson.
The group came together in late 2017 as a result of hearing similar conversations amongst Nelson residents in a variety of contexts, but all with a common theme of dissatisfaction with Council’s leadership.
“Whether it was the non-profit sector, small business, retirees, young families – there were near-constant complaints about how the City was moving in the wrong direction, and hearing that from so many different parts of the political spectrum told us that there was a need for a group like ours to come together,” said Cowan.
Wiggins is a mother to a two-year-old child and works in the Early Childhood Education sector. She describes herself as part of the LGBTQ community, and as an advocate for issues related to poverty, housing, and children.
“My family – Markin – has been in this area for generations, and I’ve seen a change for the worse in how things are being handled on issues important to people like me,” Wiggins explained.
“Red tape is adding expense and delays to affordable housing developments; increased costs like water, sewer and garbage fees add expense for landlords which gets passed on to tenants, and those are just a few of the concerns I’d like to work on with my colleagues in CORE.”
Hillaby said she arrived in Nelson about six years ago to raise a family.
As a mom of two young kids, Hillaby is active in the youth sports scene, as well as being an active athlete herself.
“Initially, it was the pure silliness of the issues around Lion’s Park and Little League Baseball that spurred me to say ‘enough is enough with this Council’, and CORE was the perfect fit for my views on how this amazing little City could be run,” Hillaby said. “Everyone I talk to has variations of the same story, no matter their background or interest: the City is heading in the wrong direction.”
More details on the party’s approach to decision-making can be found on their website, www.votecore.com.
Cowan said all three of these first candidates will appear on the ballot this October with the ‘CORE’ name and bullseye logo beside their name. The group is continuing to interview potential candidates, and more endorsements are expected in the coming weeks.
Renwick, Hillaby and Wiggins join current councilor Robin Cherbo and Charles Jeanes as candidates announcing they will run for election on Saturday, October 20, 2018.