Richard Howes moved to Creston in the middle of winter, and it wasn’t just the weather that made things difficult.
After having lots of his family’s belongings stolen in Grand Forks while en route, he was touched when the community of Creston stepped up to support them.
“It wasn’t the best of circumstances, but the people at Creston [helped me],” says Howes.
“I was kind of in tears when we showed up because we had a crib for my baby, food in the fridge. There was a couch to sit on and the people just rallied within a few hours. So it’s a pretty heartwarming arrival.”
Then, after integrating into the valley, meeting the people in town, and hearing that many current councillors would be retiring coming up to the municipal election, Howes thought it would be the perfect time to give back to the community that supported him.
He says he is happy to see the 13 candidates running and is confident he can add his own experience to council.
“My day job is kind of a change management expert and I deal with information and service delivery for the provincial government. And I thought, hey, those skills of asset management and project planning and following the information around would probably serve the place I live as well.”
Howes says he’s looking forward to learning what the community needs and listening to the individuals.
“I pride myself in listening and trying to understand what people want and what people need. So I would defer that decision on what I would want to improve maybe six months out, once [I’ve] gotten my feet settled,” says Howes.
“But what I’d like to be known for is clarity. Taking the vast amount of bylaws, decisions, and town council meetings and making it easy for people to digest and being accountable to those things.”
He says his accountability is close to his heart and something he lives by.
Even before moving to the valley, Howes says Creston checked all the boxes, from the happy populace to the local produce. And now, it’s time to grow together.
“From here we can basically go cross into whatever we want it to be. And it’s that opportunity that I really like, the opportunity to grow and expand naturally.”