Running for: Mayor
Occupation: Mapping specialist/parent
How long have you lived on Bowen?: 5 years
Who inspires you? (Alive, dead, fictional, local, national, international - anyone): Elizabeth May
Please list any current and past committees you've been a part of and how long you served on each (in list form): Bowen Island Municipal Transportation Advisory Committee (4.5 years), Bowen Island Ferry Advisory Committee (4.5 years), Integrated Transportation Masterplan Working Group (2 years), Snug Cove Improvement Working Group (1 year), Community Centre Select Steering Committee (2 years), Recreation and Community Services Commission (2 years).
What are your priorities if elected (beyond housing or transportation.): Great public engagement and public process. See through to completion the community centre and firehall. Promote environmental sustainability and protecting our forests from logging.
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?: Comprehensive planning of our Community Lands to enable greater housing diversity within easy access of Snug Cove. Work with B.C. Housing, private developers, municipality Housing Committee and housing non-profits (i.e. Bowen Island Resilient Community Housing) on providing diverse housing options (duplexes, town homes, purpose built rental housing, co-ops etc.) Implement established municipal housing policies.
How would you address the animal control issues of deer and skunks on-island?: Preventative measures to reduce conflict especially in high density neighborhoods – removing access to garbage and denning opportunities is a practical first step.
What ideas do you have for managing Bowen's tourism tensions?: Since our grumpy logos haven’t worked, we need to take further steps! Seriously, I will continue to work with BC Ferries to proactively manage marshalling/capacity issues. Also work to strengthen the shoulder/winter tourism season to smooth out the summer peak. A year-round, strong and vibrant economy is great for Bowen!
Air BnB - yes or no? Why?: An important issue and one we need to address. First step is data collection to fully understand the scope and impacts of short term vacation rentals. Before we can decide how to regulate– we need to know how many, current compliance, impact on affordable rental stock and wider community impacts.
In a campaign (so far) characterized by candidates agreeing with one another-what do you feel is at stake in this election?: A commitment to: listen, engage and be responsive to the needs of our community. Develop and implement an action plan for affordable and diverse housing. Completion of community infrastructure.
Facebook page: facebook.com/melaniemasonformayor2018
Twitter handle: @SurteesMason
Website address: www.melaniemason.ca