An incumbent Trail city councillor seeking re-election says despite some much-publicized infighting, he is proud of the work they did this term.
Paul Butler cited former British prime minister Harold McMillan’s response when asked about the greatest challenge for a statesmen: “Events, dear boy, events.”
“We’ve had a lot of events over the last four years with COVID and the opioid crisis provincewide,” Butler says.
While some members of council accused each other of code-of-conduct violations, Butler remained above the fray.
“I feel that relationships [at city hall] are very good and strong,” he says.
“There might have been a few people who saw things differently. I felt I always had very good relations with everyone I worked with, both staff, fellow councillors, and the mayor.”
Butler says running for re-election was a “pretty easy decision.”
“Without a doubt there have been some complex and multi-layered challenges. I really want to be part of next council in getting some of these big items we’re faced with to some sort of solution.”
Butler says he’s proud of the fact that amid the pandemic, council was able to pass a budget without a tax increase in 2020, although it meant some cutbacks.
He’s also pleased with council’s decision last month to extend the operating permit of the downtown homeless shelter for another year while another temporary location is sought. He says it doesn’t mean that problems associated with homelessness have gone away, he says, but it is a step in the right direction.
In addition to finding a different place for the shelter, he says the next council will also have to encourage other types of housing. He also wants to ensure community safety and security, “so we can all feel comfortable where we are.”
Butler says he is an advocate for diversity and inclusion, and council could use a good gender and age balance, along with underrepresented groups and visible minorities.
After being acclaimed in the 2018 election, he’s encouraged to see 13 people running this time: “It goes to show people are engaged, people are concerned, people care.”
Butler is a manager with Kootenay Savings Credit Union in Trail and Fruitvale and says he wants to continue Trail’s “strong tradition of fiscal oversight.”