Photo Courtesy: Chris Beach, Twitter

As election season is upon us here in the Bulkley Valley and Lakes District (BVLD), we figured it would be a good idea to keep residents informed of potential incumbents running for re-election.

One of those individuals includes incumbent Burns Lake Mayor, Chris Beach.

With his official decision on whether or not he plans on running for re-election, here’s Beach.

“After much consideration and speaking to my family, it comes with mixed feelings that I have decided I will not be able to run for re-election. My focus has now entirely shifted to my family and career.  A lot of people don’t realize the amount of time that is required to be on Council or more specifically to be Mayor. Often a person in office can be away 2-4 nights a week all year round and that takes up a lot of family time. It’s a big commitment and after 5 years, I feel it’s time to focus on my personal life.”

For those of you who weren’t aware, Beach was first elected as a Burns Lake Councillor in 2013. He was able to secure the spot as Mayor in the by-election of 2016.

Just to be clear, Beach does not plan on running for any Burns Lake Council position in the upcoming election.

“It was an incredible honor and pleasure to serve the people of Burns Lake and the Lakes District. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life and I’m just so thankful for the overwhelming support I received in the two elections that I ran. When people realize you are dedicated to the community, their support would amaze you.”

During his time in office, Beach says Council was able to achieve a couple goals worth noting.

“In the last year and a half, Council gave a house to the Burns Lake Food Bank and we’re really proud of that. It will certainly help the Food Bank for decades to come. As well, Burns Lake was recently recognized by the province as number 10 in BC for properly taking care of the taxpayer’s dollars in a wise and careful manner. With that, we were rated number 1 in the Pacific Northwest. You know when you’re on Council, you have a lot of tough decisions to make based on peoples needs and wants. Burns Lake has no major industrial tax base and I feel our Council has kept taxes at a reasonable level to move forward on a positive note.”

On top of that, Beach says other highlights would include building 2 new water towers in the last year and becoming shovel-ready for a new water treatment plant. Beach hopes Burns Lake will be able to secure a grant that will see a new treatment plant installed in the years to come.

Although it may sound all well and good, Beach says it wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows.

“It’s definitely a rewarding and challenging experience to serve on Council. You learn a lot about yourself and you are constantly reminded of how important compromise is. We have a lot of intelligent people on Council and often there’s quite a difference in opinions. I’m really proud that as a group we were able to get over our differences and do some good for the benefit of the community. As Council, we received a little bit of negative feedback from the local news outlets and that’s a bit disheartening. When I say that, I speak on behalf of myself and not on behalf of Burns Lake Council. It’s just too bad because stuff like that really deters hardworking and talented people from putting their name forward for election.”