Candidates seek spot on Armstrong council

Helen Jackson and Gil Melin both ran unsuccessfully for a seat on Armstrong council in the 2014 municipal election and are back in the game

Helen Jackson (left) and Gil Melin are among four candidates running for one vacant seat in an Armstrong council byelection on Saturday

Helen Jackson (left) and Gil Melin are among four candidates running for one vacant seat in an Armstrong council byelection on Saturday

If at first you don’t succeed, try again.

Helen Jackson and Gil Melin both ran unsuccessfully for a seat on Armstrong council in the 2014 municipal election.

Both have let their name stand again, among four candidates, to fill the seat vacated by the death of Coun. Ron (Sully) O’Sullivan in May.

Jackson actually thought she had won one of the six seats in 2014 but a clerical error discovered two days after the vote count left her on the outside.

She handled the news graciously and still wants to be part of the process that ensures growth in Armstrong happens in a balanced way, meeting or exceeding the expectations of the community as a whole.

“Working with the rest of council to continue to keep our taxes as low as possible, while ensuring our infrastructure needs are met, will be one of my top priorities, said Jackson, who came to Canada in 1976 and retired to Armstrong in 2010.

She has a diploma in hotel and institutional management. Jackson has worked as a bank ledger keeper, a realtor, sold RVs and has been a school librarian along with an adminstrative assistant.

She’s lived all across Canada and in every community, Jackson says she tries to contribute in some way. She has served on a public library board, volunteered with figure skating clubs, been a Brownie leader and a treasurer for the Girl Guides. She has also worked on hospital boards.

“My past experience in municipal government, and on various boards, has taught me the importance of gaining public input, and considering a wide range of opinions before making decisions that will affect the entire community for many years to come,” said Jackson.

“I’m used to working as part of a team whose members often hold differing views, while still making my own voice heard, and would like to put that ability to work here in Armstrong.”

Melin joked that one of the reasons he was running for the seat was because “I still have signs from the 2014 elections.”

“But seriously,  I was  still  interested, and I was encouraged by my past  supporters to try again,” said Melin. “I still  feel that  I would be a good  representative of our community.”

Originally from Enderby, Melin moved north up Highway 97 10 years ago (“I know this because all of my appliances are failing,” he chuckled).

He is currently the sales  manager of the   flooring  division of Shepherds  Hardware, a company he’s been with for 17 years.

Melin said he has some concerns with infrastructure due to the clay in the city.

“I would like to see more improvements to the downtown area that would attract business and enhance the visual appeal for visitors,” he said.

“I have also spoke with residents who have some concerns about police presence in our neighbourhoods.”

Melin, Jackson, and the other two candidates – Gary Froats and Adrien Lemaire – have been invited to take part in an all-candidate’s forum Thursday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. at the Armstrong Bible Chapel.

The byelection is slated for Saturday, Nov. 19.