A retired Lantzville teacher wants to help shape the future of the community she has called home for more than two decades.
Karen Proctor is running for a seat on Lantzville council in the upcoming municipal election. She will be up against 10 other council candidates.
“I think municipal government plays a big part in the quality of our life and there are some big decisions coming up about how to develop the clearcut land – I would like to make sure that it adheres to the OCP guidelines,” Proctor told the News Bulletin.
Ensuring the official community plan is followed, revitalizing the downtown core, distributing water to those who need it and solving the issues around Knarston Creek are priorities for Proctor. She said big decisions will need to be made around development in many areas of Lantzville and any development that does occur should not stray from what is accepted within the OCP.
“I think development needs to follow the guidelines of the OCP. We went through a lengthy OCP process and I think most Lantzvillians bought into the process and the OCP clearly outlines how those lands should be developed,” Proctor said.
When it comes to water, Proctor believes it needs to be fairly distributed to those who need it within Lantzville. She said she also thinks the community needs to look at how water will be “shared” with developers.
“We need to make sure every citizen in Lantzville has access to water and then we need to look at how we share that water with potential development,” she said. “Right now there is a bylaw that says you cannot tap into community water unless you are developing five acres or less.”
Proctor holds a masters degree in conflict analysis and management. She has also served on the district’s parks and recreation commission and been involved with Minetown Days. She said over the years, especially when it comes to conflict, she’s learned that listening is very important.
“Basically, how you address conflict is by listening and getting input from all the stakeholders and communicating clearly about what everybody’s needs are and listening clearly to what everyone’s needs are.”
For Proctor, the village core needs to be invigorated. She said she’d like to see more walkways in the core, as well as businesses and a mix of housing, provided it all fits with the OCP.
“We need some pedestrian walkways in the downtown core for sure. A lot of the businesses have closed. We need to look at doing something to invite more business back into the Lantzville,” she said. “What people said in the OCP process was that the would like to see small businesses with a little bit of housing up above them and also some seniors housing that is close enough to the village.”
Proctor said she believes it is important for government to reflect the will of the people. She said wants to be an open-minded councillor.
“I want to listen to what people have to say and make sure the government reflects the will of the people through a transparent process.”
To read interviews with other local government election candidates, click here.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram