Ask Councillor Doug Pateman what he’s most proud of in his six years as a Princeton councillor and the Princeton Exhibition Grounds come straight to mind.
As council’s representative on the PXA board he’s been a strong supporter of improvements and upgrades to the municipally-owned facility.
“PXA, that’s huge. In less than a year we contributed over $300,000 there, whether it’s been labor or granting, upkeep and revitalization of the grounds. The most recent has been $174,000 to remove three septic systems and tying that facility to the town sewers.”
The dirt bike track, which serves an active local motocross club, was built two years ago with Pateman’s backing and “has been a raving success.”
Pateman is also known as the town’s “go-to guy”on wildlife.
Specifically, along with councillor Rosemary Doughty, he has worked for several years to reduce the number of urban deer in town through a variety of what he calls “common sense” measures.
These include installing a cattle guard and electric fence at the landfill site, in order to remove a significant food source, intensive public education on how to reduce attractants, and participation in WildSafe BC programs.
“Urban deer, not down to a zero which is never going to happen, but down to a realistic and manageable number, something like 26 I believe..numbers fluctuate.”
During this current term Pateman was appointed to a provincial committee made up of community representatives, conservation officers, biologists and scientists charged with recommending best-practices for tackling the urban deer issue.
He is also the driver behind a lengthy campaign to have the province re-instate a Conservation Office in Princeton. This year he secured the support of the Upper and Lower Similkameen Indian bands to help press the point at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities conference.
“I’m happy to report that we got the commitment this year from the provincial government to reassess our needs.”
Pateman is an automotive mechanic at Copper Mountain Mine, where is co-chair of the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee.
He and his wife Jenny have four adult children.
He moved to Princeton with his family in 1976, and has lived here most of his life.
He explains his interest in local politics in personal terms.
“At the risk of sounding corny I went to school here. I grew up here and like most kids that finished school couldn’t wait to leave here. I discovered when I went out in the world that everything I hoped for and wanted and aspired to be was right here. You just had to be willing to look for it and work for it.”
Pateman was a long serving member of both the Princeton Volunteer Fire Department and Princeton Highway Rescue. He has also volunteered in numerous capacities with the Princeton Posse and is currently the team’s on ice announcer.
“You have to be willing to give up your time, to help create something,” he said.
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