If there is one thing Tyler Willis understands it’s teamwork.
The former professional hockey player has been back in his hometown for eight years. He’s eager to bring the things he’s learned to the table, as a member of Princeton council.
“Working with people is a big part of team,” he said in an interview with The Spotlight. “If you don’t work together you don’t win.”
Willis is the fourth generation of a Princeton ranching family.
“My Grandma is 89 and my Grandpa is 92 and they still ranch. They have ranched their whole lives.”
While Willis helps at the ranch, works as a real estate agent and a is also a millwright at Copper Mountain Mine, his former career is pretty impressive too.
The boy who learned to skate at the Princeton arena left town at the age of 15 to pursue his hockey dreams. He was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks, and then signed by the St. Louis Blues. He played for that organization for 13 years.
One of the biggest motivators in putting his name forward for council was: “I hear a lot of people complaining about things and they want things and most of the time people don’t know the facts…I wanted to know the facts and I think there is an opportunity here to do things a lot better.”
He believes he has ideas that can improve parks, recreation and tourism.
His goal is to develop ideas to make the town a tourist destination.
He is also concerned about the state of the town’s infrastructure, and the lack of available housing, he said.
“I’ve lived all over the United States, in different places.” He feels his experiences and observations during that time would make him a valuable decision maker here.
Willis said he wants Princeton to have an indoor pool. “I’m all for building a pool. I would love a pool, but let’s build a pool we can afford.”
He is a firm proponent of shared-use trails, including the 3 km of KVR that is presently non-motorized within Princeton boundaries.
“I would like to connect the trail. There’s got to be some solution that makes sense.”
As for off-road vehicles he said: “I would love to see them be able to ride and park in town.”
Willis senses what he called “an old boys club” in town, and he wants new thinking.
“I think the town does need a fresh look.”
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