A long-time Qualicum Beach resident and business owner said she will be an accessible town councillor if elected.
“I’m always involved in the community. I have a business in the heart of downtown Qualicum Beach for now going over 25 years,” said Jean Young, who also ran for council in 2018.
“I’m not sequestered in an office or a home, I’m right there on Second Avenue seven days of the week.”
Young said working downtown gives her a chance to hear residents’ concerns. Several years ago she lead the formation of a non-profit society to operate a regular summer market for local artisans on Second Avenue. It operated for several summers until 2020 — Young said she hopes it can return after the pandemic.
She said it is important for council to be open and not make decisions behind closed doors.
“That’s been a disappointment because the people in town hall work for the taxpayers. They should be accountable to our needs,” said Young.
She said she was concerned when the town had a three person council representing Qualicum Beach’s 9,000 residents and making important decisions.
“Shouldn’t we wait until we have a full council to make decisions on major issues?” said Young. “We’ve had a fire sale on properties with these three guys, what was the emergency?”
She said she believes the public should be consulted before council decisions are made, even if closed meetings are necessary to discuss things with town staff.
Young has served on the boards of the Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce, Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism Association and Oceanside Women’s Business Network.
“I’m excited that the town is working with the chamber of commerce to capture the identity of Qualicum Beach through the current branding project. And it’s gratifying to see various organizations offering help to local businesses and individuals as we all navigate these challenging times,” she said in a press release.
The COVID-19 pandemic means campaigning will be different, but Young said she is approachable seven days a week and open to emails, phone calls and Facebook messages.
Young will be running against Brian Denbigh, Sarah Duncan, Peter Kent and Anne Skipsey for the seat left open after former councillor Adam Walker was elected MLA for Parksville-Qualicum last October.
See more Oceanside News coverage of the 2021 Qualicum Beach byelection and read about all the candidates here.