Long-time Fernie businessman and even longer-time Fernie skier, Willard Ripley is looking to serve a second term as councillor for the City of Fernie.
Having served on the OCP Committee, which Ripley called an “important thing” for the community, his focus on moving forward is building towards a more prosperous business economy.
“I think that we’ve done a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of getting the OCP and dealing with some of the changes that were necessary and I’m interested in making sure that Fernie is a good place to do business and we create business opportunities because that, in turn, creates jobs and makes Fernie a place to live. If you can’t work here, you can’t live here.”
In terms of lower-cost housing, Ripley believes more in supporting a better business economy in order to afford most housing.
“I don’t know where lower-cost housing could come from, and maybe it isn’t a reality,” noted Ripley. “What you need is jobs so you can afford normal-cost housing which every community has.”
Ripley said there is a need for more industrial or commercial land in Fernie.
“I think we need to support development by the people that are going to do things in our community. It would give me satisfaction to help see Fernie prosper. I’ve prospered here and I want to help others do that.”
Ripley added that his agenda is mostly about helping Fernie reach its full potential and he wants to be there to listen to what people want and make the right decisions.