In their own words 4: Getting to know the Nakusp candidates

This week’s question is: Why do you want to be part of the Nakusp Village Council at this point in time?

  • Nov. 16, 2013 6:00 a.m.

Len Heppner, Councillor Candidate

In my last term I had to be away from Nakusp part time due to work. When I ran again it was with good intentions then unexpectedly I find out I might have to leave again for work. I didn’t feel that it was fair to the people of Nakusp not to be in the community  on a full time  basis. But people still want me to run. I was able to attend council meetings via the telephone and to respond to peoples concerns using my computer. My name is still on the ballot and you may still vote for me.

I wish to be a part of this council as the people need someone who listens and responds to their concerns. I have done that in my four terms on council. If I’m re-elected I will continue to work hard on behalf of the people of Nakusp.

I want to thank everyone for their past support and wish all the candidates good luck.


Tom Zeleznik, Councillor Candidate

This community has supported my family as our children have grown and headed off to pursue their lives. Our youngest children continue to come back to Nakusp when needing support and employment. I believe now is the time to give something back to this community. At this point of time, I believe that with my skills, knowledge, and experience in small business and volunteerism, I have something to offer by working on Council, encouraging groups to keep this community thriving, while finding new ways to create jobs.

A councilor cannot act alone, but must be able to work together with his fellow councilors, the mayor, and the community to make decisions about new projects, and continue work on others, always keeping in mind the needs and concerns of the community. Decisions made by council must not be for personal or political gain but with the best outcome in mind for the community. As a long term resident of Nakusp I am very interested in helping create a thriving community that people will feel excited and encouraged to come to live and visit, while maintaining the beauty and integrity of our village.

One person cannot make a difference, but as a community, its people can come together to work toward common goals that can make a difference, creating a positive vision for Nakusp. Yes we can make a difference.  I would appreciate the opportunity to be part of the decision making for this community, helping Nakusp be all it could be.

Joseph Hughes, Councillor Candidate

I originally joined council because of all the people of Nakusp who encouraged me.  The honour of representing them in council is very important to me. I have a solid understanding of the values of the valley and bring those concerns to the discussion. Everyone has an obligation to give back to their community, that is how we maintain Nakusp’s vitality. Council is the best match for my skills and a rewarding way to give back to my town.


Guy Duchaine, Councillor Candidate

I have the time to dedicate and I hope to be instrumental in bringing good paying jobs to the village. This would help in keeping the young adult and their families in town as opposed to have them leave for the northern towns.

I would also would like to participate in getting doctors to move in town and help with our health care. This would ensure Doctors spread the work load and give Dr. Lea a breather.


Ulli Mueller, Councillor Candidate

I have enjoyed being on Village council for the last six years.

We have worked hard and moved the Village forward. Thanks to being successful with large grant applications we have been able to do so without substantially raising taxes.

The next three years will bring many challenges. I believe that my business sense, experience in various non-profit sectors, dedication and commitment to working on issues will make me a good representative on the next Council team.


D. Robert Parkinson, Councillor Candidate

I truly believe that Nakusp is approaching a critical junction. Continuing down the existing path of the same old same old will, no doubt, eventually lead to stagnation.

The village needs a new voice with an enthusiastic, eager and open council to take the village to a new level. The opportunities are endless but the path to those successes can only be created by a team capable of removing or bypassing the obstacles.

It is time we encouraged the upcoming generation to be involved, for it is their future that is at stake. As this new generation reach out to grab hold of this responsibility, I encourage you to give them your support.  We should be encouraged with the interest being shown this year, by our opportunities for council.

For me to be able to come alongside and mentor the future leaders of our community would be a great privilege.

With my years of corporate leadership, I would honour your support and value the opportunity to communicate your interests to council.

Thank you for your support.


Karen Hamling, Mayoral Candidate

I would like to continue the work we’ve begun for the growth and stability of our community. Nakusp Council has worked hard to upgrade the infrastructure and clarify the rules to allow for growth and smart development. We made solid contacts at the Regional, Provincial and Federal levels and brought home millions of dollars in grants. I am proud of our achievements. Council has been an instrument of change and action. Now we are poised to capitalize on that foresight and effort and are well positioned financially.

In these uncertain economic times, it is crucial to have a strong, committed, experienced council to help us move forward to make Nakusp stronger, a place where young families can work and live. It is important Nakusp has a Mayor with dedication, ideas and the ability to bring residents together to work on issues and proposals for the good of the whole community.


We’ve made great connections with all levels of government to the benefit of our residents. Our current council has quite a list of accomplishments (Arena, Emergency Services building, carpentry/trades program, planned wharf replacement, water/sewer upgrades, etc.). There is still much left to do. I would like an opportunity to be part of the team to carry on council’s work and explore ideas to ensure Nakusp’s progress. I have the experience, passion, and energy to work on your behalf, to help move our community forward. I would be honoured to again serve as your Mayor. Let’s move forward, together with optimism.


Hans Suhr, Mayoral Candidate

I believe that this is the right moment to step forward and offer what I can to serve in the capacity of Mayor. It may have been easier to remain on the sidelines and offer my criticisms; however, I was asked by several members of the community to consider running for Mayor and I feel compelled to step forward.

When I submitted my nomination papers there were only three others who had submitted – one for Mayor and two for council. Near the deadline for nominations, I was advised that there were not enough candidates for council yet and would I consider switching over from Mayor to council? This move would have assured myself a seat on council as all the parties would have been acclaimed and there would not have been an election.

Although this may have worked, I strongly felt that an election was needed and a choice needed to be offered to the citizens of Nakusp for the role of Mayor and for council. I do not believe that acclamation is the best route for our village’s leadership to be decided. I believe that the privilege of voting for a democratically elected leadership is a vital aspect of what makes Canada so wonderful.

I believe that I have many of the skills and abilities necessary to be a successful Mayor.  I have the commitment, the time, and, more importantly, the ability to successfully work as a team with council towards a common goal – the sustainable future of Nakusp.