Retirement didn’t last too long for Wayne Price.
The former Director of Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services has announced a run for city council for the upcoming municipal elections on Oct. 20th.
Price, who spent the last 13 years heading up the local fire department, wasn’t content to be idle in retirement.
“I’m driven by accomplishment, pure and simple,” said Price. “I couldn’t retire and just fade away into the sunset or go south all winter. It just doesn’t do enough for me, personally.
“I’ve been thinking about council for years. It’s the community, and I always thought it’d be a perfect transition coming from my role in local government.”
Price began his firefighting career with the Cranbrook fire department in 1985, before shifting to stints with the provincial Fire Commissioners Office both locally and in Kamloops.
He returned to the area in 2005 after successfully applying for the fire chief position to head up the department.
A third-generation Cranbrookian, Price said he sees serving on council as an opportunity to contribute and give back to the community.
“I’m passionate about the people and about the needs of the community, and they’re very broad and diverse,” said Price. “Certainly housing, infrastructure, economic development — they’re three pretty key topics right now and I think probably most candidates and the current council are focused on those.”
Price said he lives by the Kaizen Principle — a Japanese management philosophy of always striving to be better, which he doesn’t mean to be interpreted as critical of the existing council or staff.
““The city staff we have across the board…we have incredible staff here in the City of Cranbrook,” said Price, who has worked through four different municipal electoral terms as fire chief. “We’ve undergone a lot of change over the years, but we’ve got very, very competent and caring staff. They really do care and they’re committed to the city.”
Leaning on his managerial experience, Price says he will bring an open, informed and collaborative decision-making philosophy to the council table.
Price says issues that need attention include wildfire mitigation, a revised land management plan and an updated infrastructure priority rationale.
Price also notes that 20 per cent of Cranbrook’s population are seniors, a number that’s only going to increase over the coming years.
“We better start thinking about seniors housing, and I’m not saying we provide housing,” said Price. “But we need a land management strategy so that we have the land in the appropriate locations and we have the infrastructure in place that can support it because some of the land you’ve got old infrastructure that won’t support it.”
Price joins a growing list of city council candidates that includes Wesly Graham, Danielle Eaton, Norma Blissett, Mike Peabody, Melodie Hull and Jordan Fiorentino.
So far, Lee Pratt is the only candidate running for Mayor.
Rob Gay is running for re-election for Area C of the Regional District of East Kootenay.
Nomination deadline for municipal elections is Sept. 14th.