Nick Cashol says it never would have occurred to him to seek public office before friends asked him to consider standing for Trail city council.
“People who know me well, whose opinions I respect, said why don’t you run for council? Initially I said ‘really?’ It’s not something I had experience with.”
But he talked it over with his family and his tipping point came while painting a fence with his youngest son, who convinced him it was a good idea. The next day he filed his nomination papers.
Cashol returned about six months ago to the city where he spent 15 years of his 27-year RCMP career. He arrived in 1992 as a single dad and met his wife Roberta. Together they raised a blended family of seven kids that has now added 14 grandchildren.
In 2007, he moved to the Okanagan for family reasons, but never cut ties to Trail.
“We’ve always owned property here, we’ve always visited here, we’ve always had family and friends here,” he says. “It’s always felt like home for us. We’re thrilled to be back.”
Cashol says he hopes the “sense of trust and respect” he developed with the community as a police officer will serve him well as a councillor.
“There’s a strong need for new voices, new faces on council. I considered it and believe I can offer something. I love Trail and am committed to making it a better place.”
Cashol says Trail needs “a strong, effective city council” that acts as a “cohesive, proactive team” to get resources from the provincial government, particularly BC Housing.
He says municipal politicians are challenged as never before with various crises including housing, opioids, and RCMP staffing.
“There’s a lot of hopelessness and despair brought on the downtown. We need to restore confidence in the business community, in the people who work downtown, the seniors who visit downtown. That’s where my focus is.
“It’s all tied together,” he adds. “Those are resources that have to come from the provincial government. Municipal budgets just don’t have enough money to make progress in those areas. We can help.”
Cashol says council could look at its zoning bylaws, streamline the development application process, or look for land to acquire for affordable housing.
He also says he has made a point of speaking to employees and guests at the downtown homeless shelter to get a handle on what’s going on.