Having operated a Pemberton saw mill business with her husband for more than two decades, first-time council candidate Deb Esseltine is familiar with the impact the decline of the industry has had on the community.
"We're very much aware of the resource industry involving logging and the effects that have been made on this area — besides all of B.C. — during the changes of forestry practices over the last probably 20 years," she said.
As such, the Area C resident is making a push for a community forest a major part of her platform.
"It would be in the community's best interest to understand what is going on with the logging industry in our area, and perhaps have a bit of control over some of the areas that could be of benefit to the community," Esseltine said.
Since making her interest in a community forest and her candidacy for council public, Esseltine has been asked a number of times about a potential conflict of interest.
After consulting the province's Community Charter, she said she doesn't feel that's the case, "because I'm really not looking at gaining anything from it for our business or personally," she said.
"It's more to make the community aware that we have this opportunity, and it would be really great to not let it slide by again."
Other topics on her campaign agenda include improving access to recreation and trails and providing more opportunities to small businesses in the village.
For more on Esseltine's campaign, visit her Facebook page at Deb Esseltine – for Pemberton Council.
Also making her first bid for a seat at the council table is Joanne Molinaro, who along with her husband Roger has been a homeowner in the village since 2003.
"I am extremely passionate about Pemberton and would love to see some progress in the community," Molinaro said.
On her website, www.joannemolinaro.com, Molinaro has outlined some of her main priorities if elected to council.
The expansion of affordable recreation, reducing government redundancies and improving relationships with other local governments are among them.
"All of our boundaries butt up against each other, and being able to work collaboratively and positively is absolutely imperative to the people that live here," Molinaro said.
Along with her husband, Molinaro owns Sabre Excavations — formerly Sabre Transport — in Pemberton, and recently became a Certified Management Accountant.
"My education experiences have provided me with a lot of variety in my background," she said.
"I have construction experience, I am an accountant (and) we manage our own business, so I know that there are always trade offs for things that you do or don't do."
Both Molinaro and Esseltine invite questions from the public through Facebook and their websites.
"It gives me the opportunity to actually get out and communicate with them on a timely basis," Esseltine said, of incorporating social media into her campaign.
"It's my ability to say look, these are my thoughts on this, connect with me and let me know what you think. Give me some feedback on that, and I can respond to them in a timely manner as well."
Advance voting in Pemberton takes place Wed., Nov. 5 and 12 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 7400 Prospect Street in Pemberton. General voting takes place Sat., Nov. 15.
An all candidates meeting, sponsored by the Pemberton and District Chamber of Commerce, is scheduled for Mon., Nov. 3 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Pemberton Community Centre.
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