The race is on.
Just minutes after Princeton rang in the New Year a candidate stepped forward and declared his intent to run for town council in October 2018.
Former newspaper publisher and broadcaster George Elliott made the announcement on a blog shared to local Facebook groups, and has already established a website to support his bid.
“I believe I have something I can contribute to the future of the community,” he said in an interview with The Spotlight.
Elliott said he believes the key election discussions will center around the proposed indoor pool, use of the KVR trail through town boundaries, growth and infrastructure.
“To be honest with you I think it is going to be basically the same handful of issues and it should actually be an interesting campaign…If we get a lot of people putting their names forward it will be very interesting.”
Elliott said he feels strongly about ensuring roads, sewer and water systems are maintained and improved, along with economic development.
“Growth in the community, how do we get more people here, tourism and things like that.”
He is reserving judgment on the pool.
“I’m not against it, that’s for sure. I think we need some kind of magnet to attract people to the community. I think anything that is going to be positive for residents and is something that might attract new residents, we have to not turn our backs on that so we will need to look at these things,” he said.
“How are we going to keep it open is something I am concerned about but hopefully they have the plans in place will keep this going.”
He said he believes there is work do be done with the local trail, after a 2016 bylaw closed the KVR to motorized vehicles in the town limits.
“The KVR trail, that’s going to come back,” he said. “I keep thinking that there is a better solution to the bypass that is being created by the OVR [Off Road Vehicle Select Trails] committee of which I am a member. I’m not convinced that the project that is being put in place is the actual answer.”
Elliott is the vice president of the Princeton Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Granite Creek Preservation Society and a director of the Princeton and District Museum.
A freelance writer, he is a former radio broadcaster who owned and published the Similkameen News Leader for 12 years before it closed in 2016.
Elliott ran for council in 1999, losing a seat by 24 votes.
“Twenty four. I hate that number,” he laughed.
He gives the sitting council a middle-of-the-road review.
“You know, they are in a difficult position and I think based on things that happened in the front office and other departments they’ve probably done reasonably well. I wouldn’t say they’ve done a perfect job but I wouldn’t say they’ve done a rotten job either.”
He said he believes his skill set recommends him to public service.
“I’m a logical thinker. I am calm. It really takes a bit to ruffle my feathers. I’m a fan of trying to find solutions and work as a team.”
Elliott said he hopes other candidates come forward in the near future.
“That’s absolutely one of the reasons that I announced early…I hope that the other people who say they will run will run.”
His website can be viewed at https://www.georgeelliott.org.