Pemberton council candidates Szachury and Ross talk campaign keys 

Advance voting Nov. 12, general voting Nov. 15

click to enlarge PHOTOS SUBMITTED - CAMPAIGN KEYS  Robert Szachury and Karen Ross hope to earn a seat at the Pemberton council table.
  • photos submitted
  • CAMPAIGN KEYS Robert Szachury and Karen Ross hope to earn a seat at the Pemberton council table.

On a scissor lift high above the pool at the Meadow Park Sports Centre, Pemberton council candidate Robert Szachury takes a phone call to talk about his campaign.

But catching Szachury at work isn't unique — as the owner of Turbo Plumbing and Heating in Pemberton he puts in seven days a week.

"I work a lot," he said.

"I don't have spare time. I have time that I choose to allocate towards something. And this is going to be a lot of work, there's no two ways about it. But am I prepared for the challenge? Yeah."

A self-proclaimed blue-collar tradesman, Szachury has lived in Pemberton for the past 14 years.

He's making his second bid for a seat at the Pemberton council table in as many elections.

"I think that I can make a difference, and I can affect change. That's why I ran," he said.

If elected, Szachury would like to focus on enhancing tourism opportunities and increasing the Pemberton tax base through boundary expansion.

"Right now we have about 900 taxpayers that are footing the bill for the entire community, and we're struggling," he said.

"I want a healthy, vibrant business community, right? And you talk about smart growth, well the last three years there's been no growth, so is that smart growth? Not necessarily."

Making her first bid for a seat at the council table is Karen Ross, a Pemberton resident since 2002 and the current president of the Pemberton and District Chamber of Commerce.

"The reason I'm running is that I do really care about Pemberton," she said.

"I think that over the last number of years we've had a number of people leave, so we really need to make this a stronger, more vibrant community."

Aside from her duties with the chamber, Ross has served as the treasurer for the Pemberton and District Health Foundation and the director at Community Futures Howe Sound.

She's also a certified general accountant and has owned the Pemberton Esso since 2003.

"With the limited tax base that we have, I think that's where my financial background will serve me well, is actually looking at the spending right now, what are we spending, and can we reduce (it)," Ross said.

Ross has boiled her platform down to four main points: Fiscal responsibility, economic development, recreation and communication.

"Better collaboration, I believe, starts with communication, and that's working with the other municipalities... and strengthening those relationships," she said.

Both Ross and Szachury have set up Facebook pages in support of their campaigns.

"That's where communication comes in as well," Ross said.

"I really want to hear from the people of Pemberton what they would like to see this council achieve."

The second advance-voting day for the 2014 election takes place Wednesday, Nov. 12 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Village of Pemberton office.

General voting day is Saturday, Nov. 15.

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