Bev Benson running to ‘repair trust’ in Trail council

Bev Benson (Submitted photo)

Bev Benson thought she might run for Trail city council one day. But that day arrived sooner than expected after she began watching council meetings online during COVID.

And, like many, she noticed changes in the downtown core: increased crime and drug use and a greater demand for housing and mental health.

“It’s the one time in my lifetime of living in Trail that I’ve really been faced with a single issue that’s impacted all of us at the same time,” she says.

While it’s not the sole reason she’s running, she says it is the topic that comes up most often in conversations, probably because of its visibility.

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“Our city needs a loud, persistent, and unified council to lobby for the support of the agencies that support people in need,” she says.

“It’s important that teamwork is at the forefront because if we’re not working together our voice gets softer when we’re trying to lobby for grants and help with our homeless situation.”

Benson also wants to attract and support local businesses, maintain infrastructure, encourage “new and appropriate” development, and repair public trust in council.

On the latter point, given the challenges the current council has had getting along, she says it’s important to set the right tone from get go. She’s impressed with the dozen others who have put their names forward for next month’s election.

“What a diverse group of people. They have excellent backgrounds and we have to start off on the right foot with a collaborative and positive outlook. I can’t enter this election with any cynicism. I need to stay positive and encouraging.”

Benson grew up in Trail and after graduating from university with a bachelor of science in environmental chemistry, returned to her hometown. She taught at the STEP dance centre for 12 years and, as a former Miss Trail, helped revive the ambassador program in 2008.

She works at Teck as the section leader of administration and operations support at technical services. She’s also on the board of Community Futures Greater Trail, which she says has sharpened her understanding around board governance and how to support economic growth.

“I’m not coming to the [council] table with any particular agenda or stuck on any one issue,” she says. “I really think I could do a good job.”