Steven VanNieuwkerk has put his name on the ballot for the 2018 Beaumont By-Election in hopes he will fill the currently vacant seat on Beaumont Town Council.
With the Beaumont By-Election just weeks away, Steven VanNieuwkerk has written his name on the ballot after previously running in the 2017 election in Beaumont.
During the 2017 election, VanNieuwkerk received a total of 1,190 votes with a vote percentage of 5.7%, making him two spots shy of a seat on council.
VanNieuwkerk has been a business owner for almost ten years, starting an Environmental Consulting Firm with two partners, building it from five people to a total of 102 in just eight years.
VanNieuwkerk's campaign is based on three pillars representing his values and what he has learned from talking to the people of Beaumont, three things he says that haven't changed since the last election.
"When speaking with Beaumont residents throughout my campaign, a prevailing issue that arises is an overall feeling of a lack of community engagement in the Town of Beaumont", VanNieuwkerk said on his campaign website. "Residents feel that their voices are not heard or listened to. Residents feel that administration and council have already 'made up their minds' on issues before even seeking feedback. Residents have told me that, despite large voices in opposition to certain initiatives, administration and council do what they want. Overall, residents do not feel adequately represented by the current council."
On top of community engagement, VanNieuwkerk is focusing on regional cooperation and value for services.
"I was not a candidate that faded away into the background [after the 2017 election], he explained. "I kept going strong. Residents have come to appreciate the briefing notes I write after each meeting I attend. On many occasions, people have let me know how much my notes help them better understand what is going on in council chambers, which is humbling. I’m grateful that people are benefiting from what I’m passionate about."
Beaumont Residents will head to the polls on February 5, 2018.
The full, unedited interview with Steven VanNieuwkerk, can be heard by clicking the player below.