Eaton outlines re-election platform
After serving four years on City of Cranbrook council, Danielle Eaton is looking to keep her seat in the upcoming municipal election October 20.
Eaton is running for re-election on a platform of continued community growth, addressing the housing crisis, and better municipal transparency. She believes that she and the current council have worked hard to keep their promises from the 2014 election.
“I am proud of the work that has been done by our council. We did what we said we were going to do. We have seen an increase in vibrancy of our downtown, an increase in the number of new businesses; and a greater arts, culture, and festival presence,” Eaton stated, pointing at the success of recent big events such as The Grand Slam of Curling, Rogers Hometown Hockey, and Kimberley-Cranbrook 55+ BC Games as examples of the new excitement around the city.
“With the completion of our asset management plan, we have been able to accomplish a lot of infrastructure work and created a long-term plan to reduce our infrastructure deficit, which is seen in our roads program and Idlewild,” she added.
While Eaton believes the community will benefit from continuing council’s current momentum, she also acknowledges that the growth is creating new challenges that need to be addressed head on.
Eaton recently met with Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Selina Robinson, at the Union of B.C. Municipalities’ Convention, to discuss the housing crisis impacting Cranbrook.
“We met with Minister Robinson to discuss our housing crisis. We have so little housing available that is financially attainable to majority of our residents. It’s impacting our low- income families, youth, and seniors the worst. It’s unacceptable, but it’s a result of growth. Since we as a council are taking credit for the growth, we also need to take responsibility for the issues that come with growth. This is why we are working with the province, BC Housing, and local developers to come up with a solution. This is going to be a major focus for me during the next term.”
Eaton also acknowledges how much she has grown in the role over her term, to respect that clear communication and transparency is critical to upholding council’s responsibility to residents.
“The only reason we are in the positions we are in is because our electorate put us here. I have spent my term regularly updating and educating residents through my Facebook presence. Thousands of residents check in each week, to see what is going on at the council table and in community. It is a place that they can ask questions and find answers. I have learned a lot in the past four years. I feel I have earned my place at the table and have found my voice. Residents deserve a high level of transparency,” she related.
“That is what I have been working toward and will continue to work to improve.”
Eaton also added there are a couple things she could do a bit better. Her attention to senior issues being one of them.
“I have spent a lot of time with local youth organizations during my term. It was probably the worst re-election approach I could have taken,” she laughs (because those youth cannot vote for her this election). “But I am at the point in my life where I have young children, so youth in our community really matters me. I want a great community for all of our children. However, I have also come to the point in my life where I have aging parents. I will of course continue to support youth and youth programming in a big way. I did support the recent senior care home development, but I also know I can do a lot more. I think it’s a natural progression at this point in my life. Seniors deserve a lot more of my focus. I have to. I need to know that my parents- and all seniors- have the supports they need to age comfortably and with dignity in Cranbrook.”
Eaton and her husband Clint have three children, each own a local downtown business, and support many local organizations including Cranbrook Community Theatre, Cranbrook & District 4H, the Sam Steele Sweethearts Youth Ambassador Program, Cranbrook Minor Ball, the Kootenay ICE and more.
Eaton has created local fundraising events over this past term that have raised closed to $100,000 for Cranbrook. She is also the creator and organizer of the Kootenay Game Changer Awards.
You can catch Eaton’s Council Meeting updates and community updates on Facebook.