There’s going to be an empty seat around the table at the next District of Houston council meeting with the departure of Tim Anderson.
Elected first in 2014 and again in 2018, Anderson and his family are off to Castlegar in the Kootenays where he will be a mechanical supervisor at the Mercer Celgar pulp mill.
“Our daughter has cerebral palsy and we are moving to a bigger town for more opportunities for her,” Anderson explained as one of the reasons for the move.
He also said the new job offers an exciting change and that he and his family want to be closer to family members in the Okanagan.
Anderson, 46, has lived in Houston his whole life.
Looking back at his council experience, Anderson said the most challenging time was probably when the community lost its grocery store, a Super Valu in 2016, a consequence of the economic hit and population loss that followed when West Fraser closed Houston Forest Products,
”It was quite difficult for a lot of people to get the groceries they needed,” he said.
One of the best decisions reached by council is the multi-stage plan to revitalize the downtown, the first part of which is now complete,” Anderson continued.
“Another great council decision was to hire a young inexperienced chief administrative officer named Gerald Pinchbeck who proved to be a game changer for Houston,” he said.
As for those considering running for council, Anderson said it is important to maintain respect for colleagues and the people of Houston.
“Integrity in your decision making as a council member is imperative,” he said.
“One hundred per cent citizen satisfaction is unattainable, you will get backlash but you need to be able to absorb it and move on,” Anderson added.
“Houston is an amazing community with great people and is deserving of my sincerest gratitude. The future is bright for Houston and I will sorely miss the community that I have created a lifetime of memories in.”
Anderson’s last council meeting was Dec. 7 at which time mayor Shane Brienen and others thanked him for his service and wished him the best.
“He’s been a good presence on council and never hesitated to speak up,” Brienen said of Anderson.
He said Anderson’s first election in 2014 came at the same time West Fraser announced the closure of Houston Forest Products, a situation that called for cool heads on council.
“That was an important time and he made contributions,” Brienen said.
There’s been no decision yet on whether Anderson’s departure will trigger a byelection.
His official resignation date is Jan. 2 and because 2022 is an election year for local governments, the council does not necessarily need to hold a byelection.