Cindy Young is taking her second stab at the Hope mayor’s seat Oct. 20, and she’s campaigning on bringing business to the town and keeping the younger generation here.
A personal trainer for the past 15 years and a resident of Hope for seven and a half years, Young wants to see Hope become ‘grander than what it is’, attracting bigger business and ensuring young people don’t leave the community. Young, who gained 110 votes in the 2014 election, is running against incumbent Wilfried Vicktor, who won the 2014 election with 913 votes, and candidate Peter Robb, a former councillor in his first run for mayor, in an election for the mayor’s seat this Saturday, Oct. 20.
“My priorities are still the same, they haven’t changed,” she said. “In order to have a town grow and have a less structured tax system, you have to have bigger business. You have to supply jobs to the community. You have to supply housing. We don’t have a heck of a lot of any of it.”
“I understand the way the kids are, they’re looking. Some of them want to stay in Hope, but there are no jobs here. Unless you want to run a hotel, which is not a bad thing, or work in a gas station or cook food at a restaurant. A lot of kids don’t want to do that, so they end up moving away,” she said.
“Unfortunately, when a town starts losing their young, they start losing the possibility of staying a town.”
Young said bigger business needs to be brought into Hope, such as telecommunications and trucking, as a focus on tourism is not going to be enough to keep young people here.
People from as far up the Fraser Canyon as Lillooet could become customers in Hope, Young said, if they are given a reason to stop here.
A convention centre is another idea Young floated during her interview with the Hope Standard, saying a convention centre tied to a big hotel is an ‘ideal thing’ for Hope.
Another idea is bringing in a water park for families stopping through Hope, as well as locals cooling off in a safer place than on the banks of local rivers.
Young said city hall itself is a roadblock for business, giving businesses a hard time with permits and licensing.
“If you wanted a town to prosper, you wouldn’t put up roadblocks everytime somebody wants to bring a business in,” she said.
Young also said she would look at which city projects have been tendered and which ones haven’t if she gets into elected office. If the projects haven’t been tendered, she said she would put them out to tender.
“There’s a lot of viable companies in Hope itself that could have done the work,” she said.
With what to do about the Station House building a much-talked-about election issue, Young said more money should not be sunk into a building she said is not structurally sound.
“It’s just putting good money out for bad money,” she said. “I can’t see a lot of people putting out a lot of money for nothing. We’ve already done too much as it is for something that should have been up and running two, three years ago.”
If she gets the mayor’s seat, Young said she would ask residents what they want done about the project by holding a referendum.
Young moved to Hope together with her husband Glen Young, who passed away from cancer five years ago, and raised her children and her grandchild here. She said this has allowed her to see things from a seniors, a middle-age and a youth perspective.
Saturday, Oct. 20, residents of Hope will vote in the District of Hope’s seven elected representatives —one mayor and six councillors. Voters can cast their ballot on an advanced voting day Wednesday, Oct. 17, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at District Hall, and on election day Oct. 20 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hope recreation centre.
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