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Sandspit votes Saturday

Sandspit residents head to the polls Saturday (Dec. 4) to elect three new members to the Moresby Island Management Committee, the small community's form of local government.Six candidates are running for the three positions: Behn Cochrane, Stanley Hovde, Don McNeice, Emmy O'Gorman, Carol Ann Wagner, and Heron Wier.One of the positions became available when a committee member resigned, and the other two positions opened up after two members were removed in September for not attending three consecutive meetings. One of the members who was removed, Don McNeice, is running in the by-election.The poll will be open Saturday, Dec. 4 from 8 am until 8 pm at the Sandspit community office. Every resident of Moresby Island can vote, as long as they are at least 19 years old, a Canadian citizen, have lived in BC for at least the past six months, and have lived on Moresby Island for at least the past three months.Voters should bring at least two pieces of ID with them, at least one with their signature.The three people who are elected on Saturday will hold their positions on the committee for the next year, until general municipal elections are held in November 2011.The Observer asked each candidate to submit a statement on why he or she should be elected. We received the following:Stan HovdeMy name is Stan Hovde. My wife Terri and I moved to Sandspit almost three years ago from Prince George where we were in the restaurant business.Sandspit is a great place to live. I am running for a seat on MIMC because there are a few improvements I would like to see for the good of Sandspit.One of these concerns is losing our ambulance service. This would be a step backwards.I feel BC Ferries has slowed our tourism traffic with expensive fares and outdated rules, for example, charging over-height for a mini van with a roof rack. There are several ways to keep fares down and I would offer my ideas to the advisory committee.Tourism has huge potential on Moresby Island and Graham Island. We have a wonderful marina in Sandspit that could be utilized by more tourists and I would like to help make it grow. Moresby Camp is supposed to be getting a boat launch. Gray Bay has camping facilities that need upgrading and maintaining. The road to Gray Bay and Moresby Camp needs regular maintenance.Employment year round is a big concern for Sandspit residents. Quite a few people have left since I moved here because there was no work.Another issue that needs to be addressed is the amount of time the RCMP spends in Sandspit.MIMC is a group of citizens with the same concerns and it has to proceed as a strong and vibrant group. I would work hard as a part of MIMC.Emmy O'GormanI am running for a position on the MIMC because I think I can make a positive contribution to my community in doing so. Having worked for the MIMC as a contractor for several years, I have an understanding of its inner-workings. I have worked with its subcommittees and affiliated boards and councils, and am familiar with the regional taxation systems and budgets. I also have an understanding of the Sandspit water system and emergency plan. On a less practical and more sentimental note, I love Sandspit and want to be part of its progress and move towards sustainability. I know that this love of place is shared by many of our residents, and I will use this to help guide my decisions. I feel we are a resilient and strong community, with so much to offer residents and visitors. We live in a safe and beautiful town, in an extraordinary part of the world, and I hope to help preserve and strengthen this. Born and raised in a resource-based coastal community, I have lived through economic and social transition before, and I know positive and lasting change is an attainable goal. The more we value and honour our uniqueness, and the more we diversify our local and islands economy, the more resilient we become. Finally, it is important to me that there be women in politics, and we presently do not have a woman's voice on the MIMC. I would be honoured to be that voice, and to work with the current and soon-to-be committee members towards positive change for our lovely little town. Thanks! Please vote on Dec. 4 at the Community Office (next to SuperValu).Carol WagnerI am running as a candidate in the upcoming MIMC election. I have been a resident of Sandspit, B.C since March 15, 1981. It has been a good community to raise my children and grandchildren in. I have owned and operated a local business for 20 years and prior to that I worked in the tourism and hospitality industry.. elected to MIAPC and then re-elected for a second term. I was part of a team that worked and developed the Sandspit North Moresby Chamber of Commerce, which I served as both president and vice-president. At which time the chamber developed the Salmon Sculpture and the concept of the office which they shared with the Moresby Island Management Committee.. I served two terms on the Moresby Island Planning Committee. And also previously served on MIMC. An alternate for District Area E.. Director for the Airport Society which was instrumental in organizing two air shows.. Spearheaded tourism workshop. Served on Community Futures board. In 1998, I was awarded Citizen of the Year for work I have done in the community of Sandspit.. Over the years I have also worked with the Recreation Committee, Hall Committee and Moresby Island Stability Initiative Tourism.I urge all residents to come out and vote December 4, 2010 at the community office and wish all candidates the best of luck.Heron WierSandspit is a shrinking community in danger of losing the basic services that keep it going. In orderto survive, we need to make it as easy as possible for businesses to start and run. We need to attractentrepreneurs and their families, increasing our population. We also need to be willing to accept newideas and ways of doing things, so that we can take advantage of any opportunity for growth thatpresents itself.My business, Moresby Explorers, is an example of how the tourism industry can be successful here. On the other hand, I'm aware that tourism is not enough to keep our community alive. We need to think outside the box to create variety and resilience in our community. For example, we should look at bringing higher-level education to our community. With our excellent location and the establishment of Gwaii Haanas Marine, we have an opportunity to create a base for marine research and upper level university courses.As well as the experience of running my own business, I have experience on several boards. I was part of the Gwaii Haanas Marine Advisory Committee and am currently on the MIEDS Tourism Advisory Committee and am a co-president of the Gwaii Haanas Tour Operators' Association. I can workeffectively in a board setting and communicate well with other board members and the public. I am willing to listen to everyone's ideas and will dedicate time and energy to the projects that are worth pursuing. With my experience and success growing a business in Sandspit, and my strong connections in the island community, I can offer MIMC the insights and leadership needed for Sandspit to succeed.