From the fire into the fray
Wayne Price isn’t one to sit around and do nothing.
He retired as Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services Chief on August 31 and a few days later announced his candidacy for City of Cranbrook council in the Oct. 20 municipal election.
His experience working for and with the city has armed him with an internal view of operations that other council candidates, new and incumbent, do not have.
“I can bring a whole different line of questions to the (council) table; not to be adversarial but to make the best decisions,” he said.
With over 23 years of experience in municipal and provincial government management he has developed sound and effective strategic business, planning and decision making principles.
Price said he is not afraid of hard work and finds organizational accomplishments as the most rewarding aspect of work.
He added he believes he has the leadership skills required to support the community as a member of council and that as a member of council he can give back to his hometown and make a difference for future generations.
Price said he strongly believes in the Kaizen principle, a Japanese management philosophy that seeks to continuously improve.
“I’ve been carrying that principle, personally and in management models since I’ve been back in Cranbrook. If everybody does a little bit to try and improve it, we’ll grow as a community,” he said.
Price became a city employee in 1985 as a member of the Cranbrook Fire Department. Since then he had a number of careers including 15 years with the Office of the Fire Commissioner, of which the last five were Regional Manager for the Interior of British Columbia.
In 2005 Price returned home to undertake the position of Director of Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services, which enabled him to utilize his skills and experience to benefit the organization and his hometown, he said.
Over the past 13 years, he proudly led the city’s emergency services department, developing excellent working relationships with all city departments, administration and mayors and councils.
Price said he doesn’t believe in criticizing past councils or city administrations, preferring instead to note, much like a fire fighting professional would: “We can always do better.”
And Cranbrook is positioned to do great, but because of changed times it finds itself in a bit of an identity crisis, he said.
“We’ve got incredibly talented people. We’re getting pretty diverse. So what is our identity?” He asks.
“When asked what my platform is for the upcoming election I have tried to isolate three or four issues to highlight, which seems to be the norm when running for political office. Yes, we have to address infrastructure, economic development and housing. But let’s not forget about keeping our community safe, supporting existing local business, helping grow our arts and culture, dealing with our social issues and seriously hearing and addressing group and individual concerns. I think the term platform becomes too limiting when considering the scope of the diverse interests and issues that must considered over the next four years and beyond,” he related.
“I don’t like reactive management; I’d rather be proactive.”
As a third generation resident, Price said he is extremely proud and committed to the City of Cranbrook.
“There is no other place I’d rather be. If I can contribute to the community in the time I have left, that would be great. And I can contribute to the community and council 100% of the time,” he said.
Price has always been an active member in the community, most notably coaching and managing minor sports such as hockey, baseball and boxing for over 20 years. He has also served as a board member for Cranbrook Minor Hockey, Cranbrook Eagles Boxing Club and Canadian Mental Health Association.
He has been married to his wife Cheryl for 42 years and they have two grown sons and four grandchildren.