Having only lived in Tumbler Ridge for about three months, Chris Leggett is jumping into community involvement with both feet.
He is a member of Success by Six and has decided to run in the upcoming by-election.
“It’s interesting,” he says, “The whole thing came about as a surprise to me. I had a personal goal when I came to town to be part of the council and the chamber of commerce and I’ve actually joined Success by Six. It’s something I wanted to do to integrate into the community.”
Having attended four of the five council meetings since he has been in town, community members began approaching him and asking if he would consider running for council.
“I’ve been to four out of the five council meetings that have taken place since I’ve been here,” says Leggett, “When the by-election came up it wasn’t really on my radar. Then a few people in town approached me and said I was doing good things in town, I was going to the meetings already so why don’t I put my name on the ballot and see if anything materializes?”
Leggett thought this was a “super cool’ idea.
Coming from Blind Bay, a small town outside of Salmon Arm, Leggett wasn’t able to be part of council there because the town wasn’t incorporated.
Now having moved to Tumbler to be the branch manager at the Lakeview Credit Union, Leggett and his family (wife and three kids) are already feeling like they belong here.
So what does Leggett bring to the table?
He says, “For me, number one I can bring an objective lens to the community having no real formal ties, a fresh set of eyes. Given the tenure, my approach is different. With the 12 month tenure, I don’t think it’s appropriate to go in and upset everything and start from scratch and initiate all these programs. Being new to the community I’m not going to claim I’m aware of everything that is going on, but what I would like to see and focus on as a council member is what’s a go right now gets completed on time, on budget and not rock the boat too much.”
Two areas Leggett sees as needing attention are internet access and daycare. He explains, “Internet in town is a huge problem personally. Telus right now, who is our landline provider keeps telling us there are no ports available. There are a significant number of residents who are being put on the wireless internet air cards at an extremely high cost. I’m paying about three to four hundred bucks a month for internet usage. I’m doing a graduate level accounting program online, and all the lessons are delivered by streaming video. I know it wouldn’t be that hard to get internet port boxes in town.”
In terms of daycare Leggett thinks TR should be looking at 24 hour daycare. He says, “I think in a community like this when the work schedule is expected to be 24 hours, seven days a week for some folks, we need 24 hour daycare. There is no 24 hour daycare in BC so Tumbler Ridge could be pioneering that system for the whole province. That could be a really interesting thing.”
Leggett is also big on the outdoors and thinks Tumbler Ridge can really benefit from expanding on the already awesome trail system and outdoor sporting events like the Emperor’s Challenge.
“I look at Tumbler Ridge and two of our biggest events are the Grizfest and the Emperors Challenge. With the land base, we could start hosting like a provincial mountain biking race or an adventure race or something like that. All those activities are growing in popularity.”
Stay-tuned for interviews with the other two candidates in next week’s edition