Steve Boultbee got a taste of Penticton politics after lobbying for improved fire protection in his Spiller Road neighbourhood, where a neighbouring home was destroyed by fire in 2012.
The water supply and fire hydrants in the area are years away from being improved, but Boultbee said is grateful for small victories.
“They have acknowledged that it needs to be done and it will be done in time,” said the 57-year-old Boultbee father of three, who owns Boultbee Vegetation Management. He remains an advocate of installing more hydrants in rural areas, saying it would be less expensive to o it now rather than waiting for more intensive development.
“I think it is cheaper than waiting for the disaster,” he said.
Fire services, Boultbee said, form an important part of his platform. One of the first things he would like to accomplish on council is to restore the two firefighter positions cut in the 2014 city budget.
A long-time member of Penticton’s Agricultural Advisory Committee, Boultbee said he has strong ties to that sector of the economy.
“As a young man, I wanted to grow apples. But I couldn’t make the numbers work,” said Boultbee, explaining that desire evolved into his weed control business.
“There is no shortage of weeds. It is what I call a renewable resource,” joked Boultbee. But his experience running his own company, he continued, will translate well into being a city councillor.
“I have been self-employed since I was in my mid-20s,” he said. “When you are head cook and bottle washer, you do a lot of things.”
One of the most important, defining things about me is that my family has been in Penticton for four generations. I feel it is my civic duty to give back to the community by representing Pentictonites at the city council level. I am a small business owner, a father, and a proud member of this community,
I see myself as an advocate for protecting and nurturing this town’s economic, structural, and social well being.
I have three main areas in my platform: safety and infrastructure development through hiring more firefighters, adding more fire hydrants and purchasing rescue boats that aren’t currently condemned; economic development through education in the field of health care; forward-looking vision for Penticton through anticipating the issues the prison will bring, and better choices for festivals so we can be an inclusive and cultural town without having taxpayers foot the bill.