Ted Shoesmith is running for a seat on the City of Fernie council this October.
Born and raised in Fernie, Shoesmith joked that he’d never been far from the community.
“Right after I graduated I travelled the wide world and I went all the way to Hosmer,” he said in an interview with The Free Press.
A long-time member of the Fernie Lions Club, Shoesmith has worked for his dad, Chuck Shoesmith for more than 15 years, and is well-known around town.
This year will be the first time Shoesmith has run for office, and he said he wanted to give back more to the community.
“I really love Fernie, I’ve grown up here, it’s my home. I love the people, and I think that we’re going to go through a period of pretty big change as we have done.
“What Fernie turns into for a long time is going to be based on the next handful of years.”
Shoesmith described himself as hands-off. “I don’t see the job of council as being a general commanding an army or anything like that – it’s your job to find out the will of the people and represent that.
“I see myself as being open to input and suggestion – I don’t have a grandiose vision I gotta do to put a feather in my cap. Representing the town, and encouraging people that are doing stuff is good enough.”
He said that Fernie’s strong civil society was something he’d like to see supported.
‘There’s all kinds of little groups of people doing little things that just make the town a little bit better everywhere. Power to all of them.”
On burning issues facing the town, he said Fernie had ‘screwed up’ on the infrastructure front. “We’ve spent a lot of money these last few years … and we’ve ignored some critical infrastructure. I think that’s a big deal.”
Shoesmith is a builder, and works as a landlord, and said that housing affordability needed more focus too.
“I’ve seen first hand what you have to go through to build in the city of Fernie, and I think that could definitely be streamlined. If you want to have affordable housing, you can’t just tie down everybody that could create it.”
Overall, Shoesmith said he wanted to be a steady set of hands on the wheel when it came to input and decision making. “You can hurt a lot of people … and I think a lot of stuff that happens goes on with only the benefits in mind, and people often brush the negatives under the rug, and I think we should have a more open process.”
As the campaign period gets closer, Shoesmith said he planned to bring an open mind and a willingness to engage with the public to the race, and to council if he was elected.
“I really want to support people and all the little projects going on. I don’t have some giant waste of money project I want to hang my name on.”
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