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Posted: August 2, 2022

Don McCormick seeking re-election as Kimberley mayor

City of Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick has announced his intention to seek re-election.

“After considerable reflection, I am asking residents to return me as mayor for another term. I say considerable because I am extremely conscious of my ‘best before’ date. Every elected official has one. I hope you agree that today is not mine. Covid has limited movement on many of the things I hope to accomplish, so I am seeking support for another term,” McCormick stated in a social media announcement.

He listed accomplishments he is most proud of during his first two terms in office.

“One; our financial position. You cannot accomplish anything without money. In 2014, Kimberley’s was in a tough financial position. Taxes were among the highest in the Kootenays; reserves needed to invest in projects were extremely low; infrastructure was aging faster than we could replace it.

“Our tax rate increases have been limited to the rate of inflation and no more – Kimberley is now middle of the pack for taxation and improving; our reserves are a healthy $25M, enabling us to fund projects without increasing taxes to cover the costs; and our infrastructure is getting newer, not older.

“Taxpayers can see where their money is going and are proud of the community.

Mayor Don McCormick

“Two; I am extremely proud of how we navigated Covid, managing to keep safe while being open enough to keep businesses afloat. It was a difficult couple of years.

“Three; Investment in the community. No one invests their money in a community unless there in confidence in its leadership and its future. It is the continuous investment in the community that minimizes tax rate increases, that enables the city to fund projects without going back to the taxpayers for more money and that maintains the services and amenities that make Kimberley such a great place to live.

“Four; Wildfire mitigation efforts. This may not be on peoples’ radar right now, but the 2018 evacuation alert is still fresh in my mind. Kimberley invests yearly (since 2006) in fuel treatments inside the city limits. Following the 2018 scare, I met with the province and forestry partners to promote efforts in the Matthew creek area west of the city, the most likely path a fire would take towards the city. Their response has been incredible. Great progress has been made, and these efforts will continue.

“Five; Relationships. Over the past eight years I have developed great relationships with the people who can help get things done for Kimberley. These relationships are built on mutual respect and trust. It would be very difficult to achieve our goals without their help.”

Mayor McCormick also outlined how there is still more work to do.

“The wastewater treatment plant replacement is now five years in the making and our most critical infrastructure need. While the current facility is operating as well as it can, it is old and as a result identified by the province as at risk. The city has done its part – a design is complete, our share of the money is in place and the borrowing referendum will be on the election ballot. We now need to get the province to do their part,” he said.

Diversifying the tax base is also needed.

“This has been a priority of mine for the eight years that I have been mayor. Kimberley relies on residential taxes. It limits what the city can do without continually coming back to property owners for more money. We have made progress, but not enough. Key to making this happen is investment-ready land for commercial and light industrial development,” McCormick outlined.

“We have available privately owned land in the Marysville Industrial Park. However, the area is not attractive for new businesses. There is no sewer; the roads are literally falling apart. It needs investment after years of neglect.

The city-owned benchland along Jim Ogilvie Way is tied up in remediation gridlock with the Ministry of Environment. I am working with Teck on a strategy to establish a second business park on their lands east of Jim Ogilvie Way.

“Getting movement on balancing the tax base takes time, considerable patience and continuous effort. We are making progress with much more to come.”

Additionally, housing support is an area that has consumed McCormick “most of my time this past four years. Although housing issues are dominating every part of the province and country right now, we are closer than most to relief. We understand the various issues and have had developers working in Kimberley throughout Covid to ready projects that will have an impact. We all need to move faster – inflation and interest rates are uncontrollable factors that are having an impact.”

The mayor noted that over the coming weeks he will be sharing other priorities for the new term.

“They are based on what I hear from residents as their priorities for Kimberley, as well as things that I see that residents may not.  This is our town, and our future. I am asking for your support on October 15,” he concluded.

Lead image: Mayor Don McCormick and wife Bev in the 2018 JulyFest Homecoming Parade. e-KNOW file photo


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