Editors note: Earlier in 2016, Liberal Columbia River Revelstoke candidate Doug Clovechok, and NDP nominee candidate Spring Hawes wrote letters to the editor introducing themselves to local constituents. Fellow NDP nominee candidate, and now NDP candidate, Gerry Taft was extended the same opportunity, but chose to defer his letter until now.

Dear Editor:

The question I get asked most often by people in the valley is why do you want to give up being mayor to become the MLA?

As most of you will know, I have served on District of Invermere council since 2002; first as a councillor, starting at the age of 20, and then I was elected as mayor in 2008.

We have done some significant things together that I will always look back on with great satisfaction. I am also looking forward to seeing the successful completion of projects such as the new Columbia Valley multi-use facility/centre.

But my time in local government has also been very frustrating. I have watched, time and again, as the BC Liberal government put up unnecessary road blocks and barriers for local government, making it impossible for Invermere and other rural communities to achieve all that could have been possible.

I want to see a government that is willing to work with and support local communities. I want to see a government that will ensure proper services to rural residents.

I know that I have the experience after 14 years in elected office to speak with knowledge and conviction about what this region needs.

On May 9th the people of Columbia River Revelstoke will be asked to decide who they want to represent them in Victoria. We need a strong voice that will put the people of this region first.

As the mayor of Invermere I have always stood up for my community, even when it would have been far easier to remain quiet. Thats a political record of which I am proud.

On Election Day youll be asked to choose between two very different candidates with two very different backgrounds and levels of experience. Voters in this region will be provided with a very clear choice.

Im asking for your support.

Gerry Taft

BC NDP Candidate for Columbia River Revelstoke