Like superheroes fighting to preserve the taxpayer’s dime while carrying the weight of all the inner workings of the village, Lumby’s staff and politicians are the defenders of their community.
Mayor Kevin Acton, who occasionally likens himself to Superman, quite literally has a cape in his office. It hangs up next to chief administrative officer Tom Kadla’s Batman apron, and under the Green Lantern’s hat (aka Jeremy Sundin, director of finance).
They may lack the same superhero powers that their comic-book idols possess, but they still champion each cause just the same.
“We have incredible staff,” said Acton, who was recently acclaimed as mayor, alongside his council of incumbents Nick Hodge, Lori Mindnich and Randal Ostafichuk and newcomer Julie Pilon.
This year, Lumby is focusing on its infrastructure plan, specifically putting a cost to it and then a strategy.
“All these communities in B.C. are dealing with the same problem,” said Acton, as inventories of aging infrastructure must be made, along with money and plans made to repair and/or replace.
Getting some industrial tenants into Lumby is also on the top of the priority list for 2015.
“We’re trying to grow the taxbase in different areas,” said Acton, who is investigating a tire supplier looking for land in the area and is also interested in light forestry and storage.
But whatever develops onto industrial lands must also fit with what the residents want.
“We have to be aggressive with what people will put up with,” said Acton.
Kadla coins it as having a corporate social responsibility.
“It’s trying to find that balance.”
In doing so, the village has been gleaning the minds of third-year business students at UBC Okanagan with a marketing plan.
Part of that includes a sign strategy.
“I’ve heard people say: ‘What does Simply the Best mean? I don’t understand,’” said Acton. “We need to define Lumby. There’s a lot of different things that we could be, including in our branding.”
Housing is another aspect the village has its sights on, particularly smart growth.
“We’ve already put in the fact that you can have a suite anywhere in Lumby, next we want to look at some mixed use,” said Acton, who would like to see smaller, more affordable housing projects develop.
That will hopefully attract more young families to the area, said Kadla.
“That’s the heart of the community.”
Taking care of Lumby’s aging population is also a priority as the village continues to look at completing the next phase in complex care.
Keeping Lumby citizens healthy is also on the agenda as the village continues to work with third year UBC-O nursing students on educating people on the health benefits of quitting smoking.
The community stage is also in the plans, which will be an entertainment asset to the area for existing and additional events.
“So there’s no big fancy projects happening, but staff is going to be swamped,” said Acton.