Cultus Lake – There are plenty of all candidates meetings leading into the October 15 Municipal Election vote.
The Cultus Lake Park Board Commissioners Candidates Meeting is October 5th 7PM at the Cultus Lake Community School and hosted by the Cultus Lake Community Association.
|It’s been 8 years since the residents of the Park have had an opportunity to vote in an election (four years ago only one resident put forth their name and he was subsequently acclaimed.) This election is different in that we have six candidates running for three positions on the Cultus Lake Park Board. Each candidate brings a different set of ideas and skills to the Board so it is up to you to decide who is most in line with your values and whom you feel will represent the residents of Cultus Lake most effectively.|
The Cultus Lake Community Association is pleased to provide you with this newsletter featuring the bios of all six candidates. Additionally, our chief electoral officer Racheal Litchfield has provided a summary on the all the ways to vote, who’s eligible, dates and times.
The Association will be hosting an All-Candidates meeting on Thursday, October 5 2022 at 7PM at the Cultus Lake Community School. The format of the evening will consist of each candidate introducing themselves and reasons for running. Following that the Association will be asking the following questions to the candidates: What is anything would you change in regard to the current model that the Park has in regard to safety and security given the large expenditure this is for the park? What are your thoughts in regard to the Village Center Development? What is anything would you change in regard to Short Term rentals? With the rapid increase in visitors to this lake how do you pose to balance the needs of the lake, residents and commercial leaseholders so that the Park remains sustainable. Following these questions, we will take questions from the floor. We hope to see you there.
If you have any questions or concerns, the Association is here to help.
Cultus Lake Community Association Chair
|Candidate John Beesley|
|My wife Celeste and I, along with our children Anderson and Gemma, are fortunate enough to call Cultus Lake home for the last nine years. With Celeste being a teacher at Cultus Lake Elementary and our children attending the same school, this community is a large part of our lives.|
Over the last number of years, I have become concerned over decreasing transparency in our decision making process for large resolutions that leave a lasting impact on this community. As a strategist for a Crown Corporation, I know the importance in engaging stakeholders when making material decisions. The same should be said for decisions being made within Cultus Lake. Community engagement is vital in ensuring that the vision of Cultus Lake is being directed by all residents, not a select few. The community’s voice should be heard, and the community should understand the reasoning behind a decision.
There are a number of upcoming decisions that will have a significant impact to Cultus Lake. We need to find a balance of growth within the community while ensuring we have the infrastructure to support it and the resources to fund it. All while ensuring the overall health of the lake.
With millions of visitors a year, I’m a proud member of an inclusive community for families across the lower mainland. However, we need to feel safe and secure within our neighbourhood. We also need to ensure sustainability to support both visitors and residents. Our Park Act is unique, allowing our own governance but it limits the benefits other municipalities are afforded. We need to create urgency with government engagement around receiving support from the taxes paid by our residents to help support the millions of visitors each year. We should also have the right to funds and grants that help support similar municipalities. Responsibility in supporting visitors and residents outside of our community shouldn’t rest solely on our shoulders.
We need a balanced approach to material decisions around community development. Initiatives like our Village Centre need a thoughtful, transparent, engaged process. Community is much more than belonging to something; its about doing something together that makes belonging matter.
This is just the beginning of the discussion. Please feel free to connect (email@example.com). I would love to discuss over a call or coffee your vision of Cultus Lake. These are conversations that matter.
|Candidate Erika Jartved|
|My name is Erika Jartved. I’ve been a resident of Cultus Lake for 8 years and have developed a profound attachment to the beauty and friendly small-town feel of this community.|
Originally from North Delta, I worked in municipal recreation for 17 years and attended UBC, earning a bachelor’s degree. I left recreation to raise my family and pursue an interest in home construction working with my dad on custom homes. My interest in building led me to my current career as a realtor. While studying real estate, I worked at Chilliwack Society for Community Living.
I’ve been volunteering for many years to support Cultus Lake and our great community. I am a committee member on the Community Events Committee where I help to organize Cultus Lake Day, Movies in The Park, Party in the Plaza and Christmas at Cultus. I volunteer on the Environmental committee assisting with milfoil management, garden installations and invasive species control. I am a member of the Cultus Lake Old Age Pensioners. To stay current on community issues I attend monthly board meetings.
As a proponent of community connections and inclusivity, I’ve had the privilege of getting to know many community members and have developed lasting friendships through my volunteer work and passion for outdoor recreating.
I am familiar with local government governance and sympathize with resident’s frustrations with the sometimes-slow progress of government processes. That said, I understand the need for careful and thorough processes to ensure all residents, leaseholders and interested parties’ needs are considered.
If elected I would advocate for improved communication, education and consultation with residents. I would strive for balance between activities such as Airbnb’s, commercial interests and development with livability and residents’ needs for safety and security. The health of the lake and surrounding natural areas continues to need attention as well.
Long-term, the redevelopment of the Plaza will require thoughtful planning and community input considering density, economic benefits and fit with the unique nature of the community. I will encourage open and transparent governance, supporting the themes outlined in Plan Cultus.
I would be honoured to work on behalf of the residents of Cultus Lake in collaboration with the many stakeholders and volunteer organizations dedicated to the protection and management of the park. I support balanced growth and fiscal sustainability. I believe in representation that reflects the diversity of the community. Good decision making involves everyone’s voice at the table.
|Candidate Tom Moul|
|Born 10 Nov 1956 to Alannah and Gordon in Burnaby, BC.|
Lived in several areas of Vancouver and Edmonton until moving to Cultus Lake in 1967, when my family owned and operated Tee Pee Trailer Park and Trout Farm (now known as The Cottages). I have lived at Cultus Lake for most of the last 55 years. My Mother Alannah had our family house at 114 First Avenue for 30 years. I had a house on Pine Street for many years, then built and lived in the Log house on my property adjacent to the former Marina near the Provincial Park and sold that and moved to our current location at 550 Park Dr., in 2017.
I had a career as an Airline pilot for Air Canada for 37 years, and had several business adventures also, including being the original developer and owner/operator of Cultus Lake Waterpark. I have a patent on a small safety product, started Coneheads Ice-cream, and was involved in a restaurant in Barbados. Myself and two partners bought the Empress Hotel in Chilliwack and were working closely with the Mayor and City to start a re-development of the downtown City core. The recession of 2008 slowed this process and this ultimately ended with the City purchasing this property and continuing with the project recently over the last few years. We continued with the Liquor Store from this for a number of years. I was CEO of Chilliwack BioEnergy and we worked on designing BioEnergy plants for local use and power/ heat production for northern communities.
I am fully retired now from all flying and businesses, and Cheryl and I enjoy an active social life and do some traveling from our Cultus lake main base.
I see the main issues to be dealt with in the near future are of course the New sewer system, exploring the re-development of the strip mall business area, taxation and clarification of roles and responsibilities of the Board, FVRD and Chilliwack City, and also continuing with conservation efforts of our beautiful Park, so that it may be enjoyed by many for generations to come.
As an elected Cultus Lake Park Board Commissioner, I believe it would be one of the primary duties to represent the people of this community.
We are fortunate to have a deep pool of talented and experienced people in our community who have a front row seat of events at Cultus Lake, and I would look forward to having the opportunity to represent them at the Board level.
Thank-you for your consideration. Tom Moul
|Candidate Christy Ovens |
My name is Christy Ovens. I grew up in Chilliwack and after graduation pursued a Bachelor’s of Kinesiology degree at the University of the Fraser Valley. Cultus Lake was always a popular spot to spend my time and a community I longed to be a part of. I am grateful to now be living, working, and raising my daughter all within Cultus Lake Park. Aside from owning and operating Lakeside Beach Club for the past 7.5 years, I’ve also been involved in the community in several other roles.
I worked as the Community School Coordinator at Cultus Lake Community School for two years, and as a Youth Programs Leader for Wilma’s Transition Society at a program based out of the Soowahlie Band Office. I served two terms as a Board Member of the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce. And, after moving our family to Cultus Lake in early 2021, I became an active member of the Parent Advisory Council at Cultus Lake Community School where my daughter is currently in Grade 2. I have served on the Commercial Leaseholders Committee and represented my business at community events over the years.
Our community is unique and needs representatives who are passionate about the issues at hand and want to work together to facilitate progress to continue moving forward. Since my first presentation at a Cultus Lake Park Board Meeting eight years ago I have seen three different Board’s and closely followed every decision that was made by them.
A few key areas for the next four years that I will bring my background, skills, and community mindset to include:
-providing opportunities for effective communication between the Board and all who make up our diverse community;
-increasing pedestrian and resident safety through continued work on access routes and emergency planning;
-finalizing & executing the upgrades required for the sewer system;
-thoughtful development of the plaza that adds year-round services for residents and visitors;
-pursuing funding from the Province and FVRD to assist in infrastructure and accessibility components of Cultus Lake Park; and
-ensuring the health of Cultus Lake remains top priority.
I care about this community and the people who visit and are fortunate to call it home. I want Cultus Lake to be an inclusive place that everyone gets to enjoy, and I’m dedicated to the notion that the future of Cultus Lake is one we can all be proud of.
|Candidate Larry Payeur|
|Residential Leaseholder since 2001 Full-Time Resident since 2007 Cultus Lake Park Board: Commissioner for the past 11 years Cultus Lake Community School Association: Board Member for the past 5 years Have served on more than twenty Park Board committees Member of Emergency Response team since its inception in 2008 For the past 15 years, my wife Mary-Jean and I have called the lake our home.|
We’re here for the same reason as most residents: the lake itself, and the people who cherish it.
It’s what defines us, what gives us our quality of life.
Having served on the Cultus Lake Park Board for the past 11 years, I’m extremely proud to have been part of the Board’s long list of accomplishments.
In the coming four years, we will deal with challenges that include sewer infrastructure, our relationship with the provincial government, the fast-growing population in the Fraser Valley, and our valued relationship with our indigenous neighbors.
The current Board has made significant strides forward in all of these areas. You are in great hands.
I WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT ON ELECTION DAY.
“OURS TO PROTECT AND PRESERVE”
|Candidate Casey Smit|
|I am seeking re-election for a second term as Cultus Lake Park Commissioner. My wife, Gail, & I moved to the lake 9 years ago after retiring and have never looked back. We greatly appreciate the opportunity to live in such a beautiful community and a big plus, we have become the preferred place for our grandchildren to visit. |
The past four years hasn’t come without some significant challenges; the new sewer system delays, the Covid-19 shutdowns, and the damage caused by the Atmospheric River last November. Our community is extremely fortunate to have a dedicated team of people, who handled these ‘unprecedented’ circumstances very well. I am pleased to say that even with all the unexpected issues, we ended on a positive note with a budget surplus, which has been used to increase our contingency reserve funds.
Some of my fellow candidates and a few residents have mentioned concerns about the Park Board lacking transparency. I ‘sincerely’ want to understand what specifically this is in reference to. Only when we’re candid with one another can we fully understand, what is, and isn’t working. I am 100% committed to uncovering what occurred and what, if anything, needs to alter for our community to have faith & confidence.
A topic that comes up often in my conversations with residents is Short Term Rentals (STRs). One resident I recently spoke with explained that a family member couldn’t otherwise afford a home at the lake without this provision, while others are in favour because they enjoy sharing the lake with visitors. However, even though there are pluses, there is a downside too. Those who have STRs on either side of their full-time residence experience this quite differently. It’s my belief there’s a tipping point and if we don’t maintain some balance, we could lose the ‘community feel’ we all appreciate so much. It’s worth another serious look to seek solutions.
If re-elected, in addition to exploring our community engagement & STRs, I would very much like to see two major projects through to completion, the new Sewer System and the Village Center.
I welcome conversations from our community (especially the tough ones). You have my word I will listen, be truthful and if I don’t know the answer to something I will find out.
I would very much appreciate your support. If you have any questions, please call me at 778-549-0788
|The Park Board has compiled some information outlining key elections details.|
Key Dates: Election Period: September 9, 2022 – October 15, 2022
Q: What are the eligibility requirements to be a resident elector in Cultus Lake Park?
a. You must be eighteen (18) years of age on the day of registration (we will be providing same day registration on general voting day);
b. be a Canadian citizen;
c. be a resident of BC for the last six (6) months before the day of registration
d. be a resident of Cultus Lake Park for thirty (30) days immediately before the day of registration; and
e. not be disqualified under the LGA from voting in an election or otherwise disqualified by law.
Q: What are the eligibility requirements to be a non-resident elector in Cultus Lake Park?
a. You must be eighteen (18) years of age on the day of registration (we will be providing same day registration on general voting day)
b. be a Canadian citizen;
c. be a resident of BC for the last six (6) months immediately the day before day of registration;
d. be a leaseholder within Cultus Lake Park thirty (30) days immediately before the day of registration; and
e. not be disqualified under the LGA from voting in an election or otherwise disqualified by law.
Q: Can I vote if my lease is registered through a company?
A: No, not unless your primary residence is within Cultus Lake Park.
Q: If there are multiple leaseholders on my lease and it’s not our primary address, can we all vote?
A: No, you must sign an affidavit form allowing one leaseholder to vote as a non-resident elector. (The form can be found on the Cultus Lake Park website at https://www.cultuslake.bc.ca/local-elections/)
Q: If there are multiple leaseholders on my lease, and it’s our primary residence, can we all vote?
A: Yes, you can all register as resident electors.
Q: I am a leaseholder and I have a tenant. Can we both vote?
A: The leaseholder can vote as a non-resident elector and the tenant can vote as a resident elector.
Q: How do I register for a mail ballot?
A: You can request a mail ballot from September 29, 2022, starting at 8:30 am until October 13, 2022, by 4:00 pm by calling 604-858-3334, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or in person at the Cultus Lake Park Office located at 4165 Columbia Valley Hwy, Cultus Lake, BC.
Q: When is advanced voting day?
A: October 5, 2022, at the Cultus Lake Park Office from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.
Q: When is the General Voting Day?
A: October 15, 2022, at the Cultus Lake Community Hall from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
If any resident or candidate has questions, they should connect directly with Rachel Rachel.Litchfield@cultuslake.bc.ca or the Deputy Chief Election Officer, Katrina Craig, at email@example.com, 604-847-2048.