Shelley Downey

Head to head: Mayoral candidates— Shelley Downey

Shelley Downey could go down in the history books as the candidate who took out one of Canada’s longest serving mayors.

In what’s quickly turning into the election contest to watch, long-time Port McNeill Mayor Gerry Furney faces his toughest competition in decades as he faces off against Coun. Shelley Downey.

XXXXXXXX

I

f she wins, Shelley Downey could go down in the history books as the candidate who took out Gerry Furney, one of Canada’s longest serving mayors.

 

“I have no fear,” said Downey.

“I think what I’m offering is a new approach to government,” she said.

“I’m interested the direction the town is going and other councillors and people in PM want to craft a vision for our town and I believe I’d be an excellent facilitator to put that together.”

The  47-year-old admits she’s unaware of any real dissatisfaction with Furney’s administration

There is, however, a buzz for change on the streets, she said.

“People hold Gerry in very high regard and have the utmost respect for him, however they’re looking for something new,” said Downey, who added she’s striking while the iron’s hot.

“The time is right is because what I’m hearing is it’s time for a change and people are looking for something new,” she said.

“They’re wondering what our vision is, what is our plan? What direction are we going in? Those are the questions I’m hearing. What will Port McNeill be 10 or 20 years down the road.

“I think people want to have a say in the planning and charting that course.”

Downey, who’s been on council two terms, said it’s past the time when Port McNeill should be setting its course for the future.

“The official community plan was done in 1997 and that would be the best tool for planning and laying out guidelines,” she said.

“It’s been a priority of a number of councils to upgrade it, but our mayor would say it wasn’t being done because of cost.”

And that lack of vision, Downey said, is the No. 1 issue in Port McNeill.

“The vision can’t be one person’s vision, it has to come from the community,” she said.

“I have things I see I’d like to see personally addressed … but it really needs to come from the citizens of the town and they’re the ones I believe need to have their voices heard.”

Downey said she’d make that happen through a series of town hall meetings and other means to learn what’s in the minds of those in Port McNeill.

“People are ready for a change and ready to reinvent who and what they are,” she said.

“They’re looking for an ear to hear their voice and come up with an action plan and put together a direction and a vision for the town.”

Still, when it comes to the town’s economy, Downey said it will be the status quo when it comes to business and industry in her seaside town.

“In Port McNeill what has been — and will continue to be — is  looking after our existing industries; forestry, aquaculture, tourism,” she said.

“We can certainly support our industries and I think our tax position is already favourable.”

And building on Port McNeill’s positives are key, she said.

“We need to build on our strengths, we need to identify areas of improvement, identify what our citizens are wanting and then we need to pursue and have discussions as to what that will look like going forward and how to achieve those.”

 

Just Posted

Derina Harvey Band – Heartfelt, Energetic, Celtic rock comes to Port Hardy

Front-woman Derina Harvey leads this Celtic-rock act, who offer an authentic east-coast experience.

OPINION: Urgent care room will cost lives

“Seniors, of any demographic, are the most vulnerable to the loss of emergency care.”

James Hayward coroner’s inquest rescheduled hours away from where RCMP shooting occured

The family is “a bit disappointed that it’s going to be held in Campbell River”

Deadline looming for North Island College scholarship applications

Students have until April 24 to apply for a record number of… Continue reading

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select routes

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries to be sold on Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

Dashcam captures close call between minivan, taxi at busy Vancouver intersection

To make the footage more nerve-wracking, a pedestrian can be seen standing at the corner

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Most Read