Local journalist and first-term City Council member Gerry Warner says he’d like to serve another term as an independent on Cranbrook City Council.
“My constituency on Council is the people of Cranbrook, who I believe deserve an independent representative who puts their needs first and is not afraid to be contrary representing their concerns.”
Warner says he demonstrated his independence the past term by publicly criticizing Council, including himself, for making an in-camera decision to cull deer prior to it being revealed to the public. “I don’t think people on either side of the urban deer debate liked that decision being in-camera and it’s a mistake I’m not going to repeat.”
The one-term Council member also opposed Council’s initial decision to demolish the former Water and Electrical Building behind City Hall on the basis it had heritage value. “I realize some disagree with me on this, but when a citizens’ group came forward with a plan to save the building, I supported them because if they succeed this could be part of a move towards downtown revitalization.”
As a member of the City’s Cranbrook in Motion Committee, Warner moved a motion which resulted in Council lowering the speed limit to 30 kph in all school zones in the City. He also moved motions in opposition to Canada Post ending door-to-door mail delivery, privatization of provincial liquor stores, cancellation of the Meals on Wheels program and in favour of stronger legal measures to protect workers on the job.
Near the end of his term, Warner introduced a notice of motion calling for a City bylaw to regulate the dumping of harmful substances in the City’s storm sewer system with penalties for polluters. “The City spent millions to upgrade its award-winning spray irrigation sewage treatment system so it only makes sense to protect it from harmful substances being dumped into the storm sewers which may be responsible for recent fish kills in Joseph Creek.”
Warner promises the same kind of representation if he’s elected again. “I believe we’ve got to do more to upgrade our basic infrastructure, especially roads, and we’ve got to continue to provide the services our residents need, especially seniors, while marketing Cranbrook to the rest of the world to boost business. It won’t be easy but we must try.”
In order to do this, Warner says he’d like to see a boost in the roads maintenance budget with the funds coming from other City spending. “We’ve got the dedicated one per cent Road Improvement Tax which is good, but we need more because the condition of many of our roads is a disgrace. It will be a tough decision but that’s what we’re elected to do.”
The City should also take a tougher stand with Victoria on funding to deal with urban deer. Warner says. “The deer are owned by the Province and it’s time Victoria stepped up to the plate and provided the funding we need to make our streets safe again.”
Warner was a reporter with the Cranbrook Townsman for 15 years before retiring and being elected to Council. He served on the board of the Railway Museum for three years, was President of the East Kootenay Outdoor Club for five years, is a member of the Joseph Creek Streamkeepers and an active Rotarian. He has been married to wife Sandra for 29 years and the couple have two children; Stephanie, an instructor in English literature at the China University of Geosciences in Beijing and Nathan a third year medical student at Deakin University in Australia.