After retiring from a lifetime as a teacher and principal Bruce Mitchell said he believes he has learned important skills he can apply as a councillor.
Having been around Sun Peaks since 1975, Mitchell has a deep connection to the community and has been a resident for seven years with his wife Ingrid, who he refers to as his soulmate and touchstone.
“I’ve made lifelong friends, when I’m up here I really feel like I’m in my home environment.”
Mitchell said during his career he learned important skills for running meetings, how to generate and operate within policies. It also helped him hone his public speaking, leadership and teaching ability.
In addition, he has served on boards and committees throughout his life. He’s been on strata councils in Sun Rivers and at Sun Peaks and has taken leadership roles in the Nordic Club. He is a past president of ArtZone Sun Peaks, a member of the group that created the official Sun Peaks community plan, and worked on ski patrol in 1977.
“I would like to use these skills to help my community,” he said. “I think that my council experience would be most helpful.
“As a ski instructor I wanted to learn about what the person’s goals are, I think it’s the same as a councillor for the community.”
There are a number of things Mitchell said are important for Sun Peaks as it grows. He added his education as a biologist gives him the perspective to look at an overall view and how all kinds of ecosystems work.
The first important piece for him is continuing to build the capacity for hosting events, including cross country biking and skiing trails.
“I think council has to be willing to work with groups and the corporation to become more well known…we have increible terrain for cross country skiing.”
Mitchell also sees improving the health centre and school as keys. He said the health centre should be supported to access resources and be innovative in attracting more medical professionals. The school and education society, he said, should provide attractive and unique learning experiences for all students.
“More people will be drawn to Sun Peaks to live and work if they know that the local school, and the overall community, are dedicated to the success of their children.”
In terms of development Mitchell would like a focus on sustainability and following the official community plan, neighbourhood zoning and by-laws. He said they were created to ensure high quality of life for all community members and they must be enforced “fairly and judiciously.”
Also of importance to Mitchell is working with First Nations groups and the Sun Peaks Housing Authority.
“We need to ensure that Sun Peaks is truly where we all belong. Look at the Sunday market with people walking and interacting. It’s a warm welcome and wonderful place. Ten years from now I’d just love to see a Sun Peaks that continues in that tradition.”