Civic election: Get to know Terry Schafer, Oliver town council candidate

A chat with Terry Schafer

Castanet News has distributed a questionnaire to each candidate running for local council in the South Okanagan.

All candidates have been given the same questions, and answers have been edited for clarity and brevity when needed. Responses will be published daily in the weeks ahead. An interactive database of Okanagan candidates, including previous questionnaire stories, is available here and is being updated daily.

Election day is Oct. 15.


Oliver council candidate: Terry Schafer

Why would you make an effective town councillor?

As a long time resident with four generations of family that have called Oliver home I’ve been involved in this community through the Legion, the Kinsmen Club, helped form the WeCare Society and spent years on the Oliver Fire Protection Board as well as the Mt. Baldy Ski Patrol.

I was first elected to Oliver Town Council in 1996 and enjoyed four terms as well as one term on the RDOS. I personally prefer the municipal model of local government as it has a tighter focus and is closer to the real need of the local electorate.

I’m also retired now and that gives me so much more time for the community engagement I love.

In your view, what is the number one issue facing the city today, and how would you deal with it knowing Town Hall only has so much power?

In this era of Oliver’s evolving history we feel a lot of the pressures that so many other communities face. Like supply chain issues, burgeoning homelessness and the threat of food insecurity. These aren’t easy for any level of government to solve outright but we always need to be aware of external pressures and adapt to them as we’re able.

How would you make Oliver more affordable?

Our tax base is so limited. If we could identify a parcel of land that could be be purpose built for low income residents and grants found to help make that possible we could perhaps engage the Kiwanis Club to do what they do best. I have to say, that’s been on the mind of council for decades and with housing becoming so unaffordable it is pricing renters out of their homes.

What is one example of a time you agreed with city council over the past term, and one where you disagreed?

To be honest I’ve been quite satisfied with council's progress.

If you had $1 million to spend on anything in the city, how would you spend it?

If $1M arrived as a gift I would be happy to put it into reserves. I don’t like spikes in taxation and it’s always better to have money to attract "matching grants."

Picture Oliver 20 years from now. What are the key aspects that are making it thrive?

I foresee a community that has had to expand a little, perhaps upward. The climate may have made it less likely that white wine grapes will grow here. But people will still love to live here with the river and the lake and hiking/biking path well used. Area 27 is more globally known and used. Hence more high-end super cars per capita. The parks are still loved and the Festival of the Grape is now in its fourth decade.

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