Mayoral candidate profile: Gary Ander

Gary Ander

Running for: Mayor

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Age: 68

Occupation: Retired

How long have you lived on Bowen?: Off and on, 50 years, permanently for 24 years

Who inspires you? (Alive, dead, fictional, local, national, international - anyone): The countless volunteers who give their precious time and energy to make Bowen Island the special place it is. The fire department, the Knick Knack Nook, Bowfest, municipal committees, neighbourhood associations, BIRD, the legion, to name a few, all rely on these “unsung” heroes to quietly contribute to our safety and way of life on Bowen Island. Thank-you.

Please list any current and past committees you've been a part of and how long you served on each (in list form).: Municipal committees: Firehall (4 years), Community Centre (4 years), Advisory Planning Commission (4 years), Community Grants (4 years), Emergency Preparedness (4 years), Community Lands (4 years), Recreation and Community Services (4 years).  Community Grants (6 or 7 years) and Advisory Planning Commission (6 or 7 years). Community organizations: Smoothstones Foundation (8 years), Helping Hands of Bowen Foundation (6 years), South  Bowen Community Association (27 years)

What are your priorities if elected (beyond housing or transportation.): Supporting a diverse population, which is the core of a healthy community. Protecting at all costs our "natural capital." Efficient, effective and fair governance that works for the taxpayer.

Housing is emerging as one of the top issues of this election - what would you specifically do to address the lack of affordable and/or rental housing?: Review zoning bylaws to assure they do not impede progressive ideas to augment our rental or affordable market stock. i.e. manufactured homes, mobile homes, tiny homes, etc. Incentivize, in some way, home owners to rent their unused spaces. Review short term vacation rentals and how they fit into our housing market.

How would you address the animal control issues of deer and skunks on-island?: The deer population has always been a nuisance that we have tolerated and adapted to. We need professional advice on skunks but it can be done. Free traps?

What ideas do you have for managing Bowen's tourism tensions?: First, "identify" where the friction exists. Work with Tourism Bowen and BC Ferries to alleviate overloading. Encourage passenger ferries from downtown. Find the balance between tourism and economic benefit to our merchants. Work to spread our tourist "crush" throughout the year. A meeting involving merchants, the service industry and the community should be convened.

Air BnB - yes or no? Why?: Short term vacation rentals are currently illegal on Bowen and must be addressed. Neighbourhood issues, parking and compliance are all considerations. Short term vacation rentals are also a key factor in affordability to some. These vacation rentals do not really affect the rental deficit, so yes, but registered like bed and breakfasts.

In a campaign (so far) characterized by candidates agreeing with one another-what do you feel is at stake in this election?: Ultimately balancing the pressure of growth against preserving, at all costs, our natural, peaceful island. The future of our quality of life is at stake.

Facebook page: Gary Ander for mayor

Website address: garyander.com

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