Sunday, January 10, 2010

Selected articles -- Morning Star, January 10, 2010.

Garlick sets goals for 2010
By Brent Mutis - Vernon Morning Star

Coldstream Mayor Jim Garlick has been on the job little more than a year and compares his duties to maneuvering a giant ocean liner.

“I liken the job to driving a ship. First, you have to stop going in the direction from the previous council then you turn it where you want it to go and get it up to speed.”

He wants a number of goals met in 2010 and some of them involve large infrastructure projects like the grid road plan to connect Kalamalka Road with the upper end of Kickwillie Loop.

“I want to get it completed and be as close to budget as possible,” says the 48-year-old.

“We don’t want to have cost overruns and don’t want surprises. Those happen but you want to minimize them if possible.”

Garlick also lists getting the road pavement management plan underway as a high priority. In four years’ time, roads will require $1 million of the district’s annual budget.

When Garlick began municipal politics as a councillor, it was just $250,000.

Seeing the water devolution process concluded and finding more staffing for the parks and recreation department are also on Garlick’s 2010 wish list.

Costs from water devolution negotiations are a big reason why Coldstream taxes will likely rise five per cent in 2010.

The district will also welcome a new engineer in February to take the job vacated by current chief administrative officer Michael Stamhuis last February.

Garlick’s taken heat for a perceived lack of transparency with issues like the grid road and says communication with the public is something he’d like to see improved.

He notes the district is limited in that capacity with staff, their website and media as the only ways to disseminate information.

“We have to hope more people pay attention.”

The father of two had to scale back his teaching duties at Clarence Fulton Secondary when he won the election last year.

He still handles physics and geology courses and will return to full- time teaching in May.

“It’s starting to balance out now,” he says of his two-job juggling act.

“I’ll be well-prepared for those courses (when I go back to full time).”

A Coldstream native, Garlick says being an educator helps with taking public input and teaching constituents about the governmental process.

He credits the district’s councillors for trying hard to be a cohesive unit.

“The mayor’s role is a big role, as is council’s. I think council has put in a lot of effort to get work done and not everyone agrees but that’s the good feeling of the job.

“Everyone hears what’s going on and gets a say.”

Growing up, Garlick never thought about being mayor or even on council.

It was a dispute over Coldstream Meadows retirement community expansion that motivated him to put his name forward.

He’s accepted his position on controversial issues is now on display.

“You have to stand up for your beliefs and make it known to the public,” he said.

“It’s not easy and I don’t always support friends.”

Garlick says he hasn’t decided whether he’ll run for a second term but hopes the remaining two years of his current term are smooth sailing.


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I have been a resident of Coldstream since 1976. I have had 15 years of experience on Council, 3 years as Mayor. As a current Councillor I am working to achieve fair water and sewer rates and to ensure that taxpayers get fair treatment. The current direction regarding water supply is unsustainable and I am doing all I can to get the most cost effective water supply possible.