A Lantzville candidate says he’s running because he wants to give back to the community he calls home.
Jamie Wilson, owner of Scholars Edge Painting Inc., has decided give politics a shot, hoping to become a member of Lantzville council. He is up against nine other candidates.
Wilson, who grew up in Lantzville but has lived in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Washington, said even though he left for nearly 20 years, Lantzville has always been important to him.
“I’ve moved my family back. We’ve bought a fairly large acreage of farm. My parents are five doors down. My sister lives in the next neighbourhood, my kids go to school at Seaview. So, Lantzville means something to me,” he said. “Even though I moved away, Lantzville has always been home.”
If elected, Wilson said one of his main priorities is to adopt the newest official community plan. He said he does believe some development is needed within the community.
“I don’t want to see Lantzville become Nanaimo. That’s the goal,” Wilson said. “We want to be Lantzville. But I also feel like in some ways, Lantzville has been standing still for a little bit.”
Wilson said he remembers when there were lots of younger families, adding that sustainable development is needed so that younger families can call Lantzville home.
“We need to have a plan where there are young families that can come in and afford to come in. When I was growing up, when you looked at the coastline of Lantzville, it wasn’t multimillion-dollar homes,” he said. “We need there to be opportunity in Lantzville for people to look at Lantzville as their own like my parents did.”
When it comes to development within the village core, Wilson said he doesn’t believe the area should be filled with large condos, but does believe there needs to be some housing choice. He also would like to see the village core have more “destination-type businesses.”
Other priorities for Wilson include improving Lantzville’s infrastructure and ensuring water is distributed to those in the community who need it.
“As a community we need to ensure that people have access to potable water,” he said.
In addition to owning Scholars Edge Painting, Wilson and his wife operate Superior Growers, which supplies plants to various garden centres on the Island. Wilson said he’s learned a lot as a business owner. He said he’s had to make tough decisions at times and work with people from different backgrounds.
“Some of those decisions in my business career have been mistakes, some of them have worked out really really well, but when it comes to being on council and politics in general, you’re making sure you are exercising the will of the people,” he said.
Wilson said he doesn’t want to be going into council meetings with an agenda that is focused on what he wants. He said he wants to be a councillor who can go in with an open mind and listen to the needs of the community.
“It’s not what I want. I might want something and think it is really good for Lantzville but if it is not what the OCP dictates or what people want, then I am not going to get behind that. I am going to be behind what the OCP says,” he said.
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