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CONTRIBUTION · 16th October 2014
John Powell
01: Who are you? Tell the public a little about yourself?

Hello my name is John Powell I was born and raised in Kitimat, B.C.

My family has a long tradition of volunteer work within the community, which is something that I wish to continue as I run for council.

Shortly after high school I moved to Alberta for work in construction/service industries mostly involving pipelines and have been involved in oil spill cleanup, but my heart and opportunity enabled me to move back to the town that I love. Since I've moved back I've worked on Alcan's site doing crane rail repairs, followed by the tear down at Methanex, then did a years work doing cleanup of ore spills at Alcan, finally doing construction work again on Alca'ns line 5.

In my spare time I enjoy card/tabletop games, fishing, going for walks on our excellent sidewalks and helping friends, family and those that I see need help.

My Education: journeyman welder w/red seal, experienced equipment operator, safety watch training.

02: What do you bring to the Council table?

I would bring a lot of work experience to council that in the coming years will be seen as an asset to have. There are potential projects on the horizon that have either been approved or will be approved in the coming months that will all need someone on council with work experience in the field and I have that. I have worked in Alberta in pipeline work and oil spill clean up.

In the instance of pipeline cleanup: the surrounding contaminated soil was dug up till government testing teams deemed that the soil was clean, while contaminated soil was loaded onto dump trucks and taken to a company called C.C.S. who put the soil through a process the separated soil and oil and other contaminents. resulting in the soil being cleaned and reusable.

In the case of pipeline repairs, the section of line that was leaking is cut out/removed, minimum 3-5 meters in between welds (depending on pipe size), the welder does his job, the pipe is tested before being put back into service.

03: What is your experience with local politics?

I have attended open houses in the community whenever I have time off from my work schedule, allowing me to hear the various sides and opinions and facts concerning projects being developed in the community. I have also attended city council meetings as well when I am able to so as to get a better understanding of how meetings operate and again get a sense for what is on the horizon for the community and what is being done to steer the community into a positive direction for the future. I have participated in a few local fundraising events this year. I enjoyed participating in the Youth Center Halloween House this past July and helping to raise funds. I hope to be elected to council and continue to gain more experience in local politics if the voters choose to elect me.

04: What personal attribute best qualifies you for office and how will you apply it to your role in office?

I feel my best personal attribute is my ability to listen to others and be open to various points of views so I have wide range of fact and opinion from which to base decisions from.

In this election I am stressing a return to basic common sense in the approach to local government. Although I am seeking a seat as a councillor, I view my role as more of a judge and our council as a localized supreme court. My job is to take each proposal before me and look at all the facts presented before as a judge would look at evidence.and weigh all important factors when making a decision. I have 3 fundamental priorities when I make a decision and those are 1, Economics..How will what is before me benefit the community financially and help keep money in local hands and keep the town growing. 2. Safety..Is what is before me safe for residents and wont cause any undue harm. 3 Environment: Is what is before me going to be evaluated and studied and beneficial to the long term stability of Kitimat or will it be detrimental to the long term viability of the community. I would not want to see short term gains that lead to long term deficits. I want the community to tell me themselves whether in person or online what they feel are the biggest priorities and issues are and I will structure my efforts in that direction. I do not believe in "silent majorities" we all have a voice and our own experience and outlooks to share and in order to move in the right direction I need the feedback of all who have something to say in order to render a proper decision. Whether its affordable housing or David Blacks refinery proposal...I will always go in the direction the electorate tells me they wish me to and prioritize my efforts based on that feedback.

05: How would you improve relationships with Kitimat’s neighbours?

Now more than ever with all the development on the horizon, Kitimat must realize that its relationships with its neighbours are more crucial than ever before and that means that Kitimat must do all it can to work together with the Haisla and our neighbouring community Terrace. We are allies in these ventures and each of us have a stake in this future and its imperative that we meet with each other as frequently as time and schedules allow and try to stay on the same page so we all have the ability to benefit and to also deal with issues that arise from potential projects. We need plans in place to deal with housing, traffic, health services.

Each neighbour community has some type of investment in one another's communities and that means the relationships are good so long as we dont get off track and continue to maintain a good relationship with frequent communication and ongoing discussions as to a fair share of revenues so we all see a prosperous future.

06: If you could bring one commercial business to Kitimat, which business would you bring and why?

I dont have a particular business in mind but I would hope to bring in something youth related to give the teens and young adults something to do and somewhere to go. Once some major projects start to get approval and begin construction I think its important to have something that will entice a new generation of kitimatians to partake in and be a focal point for some fun activities. Maybe it could be a new movie theater on a larger scale than in the past or something as simple as a bowling alley.

07: If you could do any one thing in your role on Council to make Kitimat more prosperous, what would that be?

If you want to make Kitimat grow and become more prosperous then its imperative we encourage more local investment and more small business development. I want to see local money stay locally and circulate and that in turn will help with prosperity. I can do that within my role as councillor by making it a motion before council and getting the support of fellow councillors that we make it our mission to promote small business and make it as easy as possible to invest in there dream by cutting down on red tape and simplifying the process. We dont need to spend hours debating the size of a sign or pushing for home based business to be rushed into a storefront. Entrepeneurship is the backbone of a community and that must always be encouraged and welcome.

08: If you could do one thing in your role on Council to make Kitimat a better place, what would that be?

I think the one thing I could do to make Kitimat a better place through my work on council is to simply listen to all perspectives and be as open and honest as possible. Trust is so very important with any officials in positions of influence and I am politically independent. I do not belong to any political party either provincially or federally as I want to remain open to as many ideas and viewpoints as possible and not ever limit myself to any one ideological slant. Building respect and trust will help move us forward and steer us away from dysfunction.

09: How would you define your leadership style and how does that style contribute to a more effective Council?

I think I will once again use the same analogy I used in question 4 of being a judge on a localized supreme court.

, I view my role as more of a judge and our council as a localized supreme court. My job is to take each proposal before me and look at all the facts presented before as a judge would look at evidence.and weigh all important factors when making a decision. I have 3 fundamental priorities when I make a decision and those are 1, Economics..How will what is before me benefit the community financially and help keep money in local hands and keep the town growing. 2. Safety..Is what is before me safe for residents and wont cause any undue harm. 3 Environment: Is what is before me going to be evaluated and studied and beneficial to the long term stability of Kitimat or will it be detrimental to the long term viability of the community. I would not want to see short term gains that lead to long term deficits. I want the community to tell me themselves whether in person or online what they feel are the biggest priorities and issues are and I will structure my efforts in that direction. I do not believe in "silent majorities" we all have a voice and our own experience and outlooks to share and in order to move in the right direction I need the feedback of all who have something to say in order to render a proper decision. Whether its affordable housing or David Blacks refinery proposal...I will always go in the direction the electorate tells me they wish me to and prioritize my efforts based on that feedback.

10: If there was something you could do to make Kitimat more environmentally friendly what would it be and why?

I think the best way to make Kitimat more environmentally friendly is to expand our recycling services and make it a priority that we want to move towards the future and move in the direction society seems to be heading in which is looking to conservation and renewable energies and encouraging investment in the community from companies who want to help shape this future. A future community plan could be developed with this all in mind and we can market Kitimat as a community wanting to shape this new era. The people decide what direction they want to see the world go in and I will always listen to what the people want.

11: In 15 words or less: What is the meaning of life?

Do your best to achieve your dreams and leave the world a better place and your life will have plenty of meaning.