Darren Close is running for Kimberley City Council for a second time and he feels he brings three more years of experience and involvement to his run this time.
“I think last time I faced the challenge of being perceived as someone relatively new and relatively young,” he said.
Nonetheless Close has remained active in the community, most particularly with the Chamber of Commerce, since that run and says he still has significant interest in being involved as a city councillor. He believes some of what has worked with the revitalizing the Chamber in the past three years could be brought to council.
“What we’ve done at the Chamber was create efficiencies, and become more accountable to members.
“And it’s been successful. I spent two years as Chamber president and my term as past president is almost up. The timing is right for me to run for council again.”
Close says that talking to small business people and Kimberley residents, he is hearing a desire to find efficiencies.
“Sitting on council would give me an opportunity to find ways to make things more efficient. I know the City is in a situation of tight budgets. You hear about overages. I would very much support a full service review. We did one at the Chamber when I first came on board and we got a lot of helpful information out of it. It was a good guide and made a lot of changes possible. You can see the value of it by the growth in Chamber membership in the past three years.”
While efficiency does appear to be a buzzword this election cycle, and Close fully supports finding efficiencies wherever possible, he also realizes the value of the many community organizations the City supports.
“I absolutely support the City supporting community organizations,” he said. “Those city grants are fundamental in maintaining the survival of these groups, and these groups are important. They make Kimberley what it is, they attract people.”
Close is a realtor by profession and he says Kimberley is doing quite well right now.
“The vibrancy and energy of the community has taken a shift. It’s more progressive and I’d like to see that maintained.”
Close also says that demographics in Kimberley and changing slightly and it’s time to see that reflected on council.
“We seem to be getting a little younger as a community. There are a lot of people in their 30s and 40s moving to town. That’s my generation. While I appreciate all those who sit on council, I don’t always want my parent’s generation making decisions for me. Council needs a demographic that is representative of all of Kimberley’s population.”
Close promises to ask the tough questions if elected.
“I want to see everything the City does vetted properly. I will play devil’s advocate so that every consideration is given some light, so that we have assurances that all decisions are as well researched as possible.”
Most importantly, Close says he wants to look back after his first term as a councillor and be able to say things were accomplished.
“We can say that for the Chamber and we are proud of that. I want to be able to say that as a Councillor.”