Earlier this month the 100 Mile Free Press sent several questions to the candidates running for local council. Acclaimed mayor Maureen Pinkney’s answers are as follows. Some have been edited for length.
1. Who are you and what do you do for a living in the community?
I was born in 100 Mile House. I’ve spent a lifetime volunteering in the community and currently manage the family business of commercial leasing on our properties in 100 Mile House. I am the Secretary for the 100 Mile House Wranglers Jr. B Hockey Club and the Captain of the 108 Ladies Club.
2. What has prompted you to run for council?
I have always been very involved in my community and surrounding area, and believe that I could make a difference. Being hands-on with the policies made, directions taken, initiatives put into motion and being able to have more information and knowledge to achieve the best for 100 Mile House was why I first got into running for a councillor and now as mayor.
3. What do you see as the biggest issue facing the community, and how do you intend to tackle it?
Our economy is very fragile, with the OSB plant still closed, our forestry sector is not as solid as we would like to see. Health care will continue to be a long struggle to get more people trained and placed in smaller communities. This has already been a 20-year issue and has no short, quick fix. Affordable and available housing of all forms, low income, assisted living, single-family and multi-family. We are sitting in a great place to be able to provide all of these with the current developments on the go as well as other potential opportunities. It is a matter of getting the right people at the table to make more happen, and this is a personal goal of mine to see it through.
4. What type of development would you like to see in your community, and what steps would you take to attract it?
Housing. To have a multifamily/seniors living complex on the old junior high school site would be the perfect addition to our town.
Economy. We have been working on connecting with small light manufacturers to set up business in 100 Mile and have been successful in attracting one to date. Each small manufacturer could employ 10 to 50 jobs of many different skill sets and would go a long way to helping our lack of a younger workforce. We want to keep 100 Mile the wonderful small town that it is, but you still need to grow to not fade away.
5. If elected, what is the most relevant skill or experience you can contribute to council?
Sitting on council this past term has given me the knowledge and practices that will enable me to contribute greatly to this next term. My previous position as the Cariboo Regional District Area L representative and all of the societies that I have been involved with and been the chair of, I believe, have shown that I listen, and I act. I am an ambitious person, but also certainly realize that in the position of mayor, or anyone on council, you have to act for the betterment of the majority, with financial obligations at the forefront.