The retired superintendent of the Kootenay Lake school district wants to advocate for Trail’s most vulnerable as a member of city council.
Jeff Jones, who moved to the city five years ago, is running for a seat in next month’s election. He’s also the chair of the Trail and District Public Library board.
“I really love Trail and think I have the skills and the background that would help bring voices together and garner action around some of the issues I’m hearing [about] from people that would make this an even better place to live,” he said.
In his role with the library, Jones has observed people with mental health and addiction challenges downtown. He said the city’s own challenge is to support them, “recognizing we can’t do this all on our own, and there are other resources that should be available. There needs to be strong advocacy for them.”
Jones said he followed the debate about the renewal of the operating permit for the city’s homeless shelter closely, and proposes having a branch of the police detachment downtown, or otherwise increasing the police presence in the area. In the early 2000s, the detachment moved to Glenmerry.
Beyond that, Jones said a “longer-term and more sustainable solution” is required.
As superintendent in the Kootenay Lake district from 2010-17, and as an administrator in Calgary before that, he says he has skills in governance, organizational development, and working with people and groups who have problems, and further understands the relationship between elected representatives and staff.
His tenure on the library board began shortly after he moved to Trail, when he responded to an ad. He was involved in the move to a new facility, hiring a new director, and coming up with a new strategic plan.
“It’s been a very exciting time,” he said. “The library is central to our community. It is a place where everyone can go and be a part of.”
If elected to council, Jones would not be able to continue to serve in his present role, but would hope to be appointed as the council liaison. Coincidentally, Colleen Jones, who is now running for mayor, was the board chair until she was elected to council and has since served as the city representative.
“I really believe serving on city council is not an all-about-me proposition,” Jones said. “I look forward to hearing and discovering the hopes and dreams of our citizens, their concerns, and bringing people together to work towards solutions to a range of simple to complex challenges. I have the background and insight to help with that work.”
Jones added he is trying to run a paperless campaign — “so no posters, no brochures, no letters.”