Steven Royer is the first candidate to declare that he will run for a seat on Kimberley City Council this fall.
Royer ran in 2018 in a crowded field and finished eighth.
Since then he has thrown himself into community volunteering and built a successful landscaping business.
When he arrived in Kimberley in 2016 with his wife Liz, Royer bought a landscaping business from Aurel Beaudin and got to work.
He says the business has made more than a million dollars in five years, a lot of which he has invested back into equipment.
In addition to the business, Royer joined the Mark Creek Lions Club, and was president, treasurer and secretary together during the difficult COVID years. He says it took a lot of energy just to keep the club going when no one could really get out and do anything, but it survived and is back to normal now.
He is on the board of the local KAYAN youth network.
He is head coach and treasurer of the East Kootenay Track and Field Club and recently led the Kootenay contingent to the BC Summer Games.
Next month he is off to the BC Senior Games in Victoria where he will do Pentathlon, the 1500 and will run the 10 K with his wife.
All this may make one think Royer has a lot of energy. He does.
But he also feels he has more to give and he is keen to try another run for a Council seat.
“I have a good employee now, so I’m going to have more time,” he said. He has thought a lot about what he can bring to Council.
“I have watched Jason (McBain) and Kyle (Dalum) on Council for the last four years, to see what new members do. I realized that you can’t change things immediately. Change is hard to accomplish. It takes time.”
He says one thing he has learned is don’t over promise.
“Good intentions don’t always work out. With the Lions Club many things come to a vote. There are wins and defeats and there will always be someone who is unhappy.”
As to what issues he believes are of primary importance, he says it’s the lack of affordable accommodations and the looming waste water treatment plant.
“My employee makes $20 an hour. He can’t afford $2500 rent. When I moved here, we paid $800. That’s a big jump. I know other communities are facing the same problem. But it’s Kimberley’s biggest challenge.”
He says while he isn’t a huge fan of high density housing there is no choice but to build some because rentals are needed.
There is also no choice but to go ahead with the new water treatment plant, no matter how expensive it is, he says
Kimberley is facing a number of challenges that are going to make it difficult to keep taxes at a reasonable rate.
“It’s not possible to reduce taxes. There are too many things in the way right now.”
However, he says his volunteer work has had him handling community money for quite some time now.
“Who are you going to trust? I’ve been treasurer for two community non-profits. I’m right in the thick of things. I’ve met so many people in volunteering and my regular work.I’d like to think my clients will vote for me because they know I’ll treat them the same as a councillor.
“I know I’m not locally grown but I feel like I’ve been here all my life. Ever since I moved here, the town has given me opportunities. You have to seize them. Kimberley is a golden place and I thank it for all it has done for me.
“Running for Council is a nice payback.”
If you have any questions for Royer you can contact him at email@example.com
“If I can’t come up with an answer, I will find it,” he said.