Jin Lin wants the City of Courtenay to spend less and not raise taxes every year, include food waste in its recycling program and talk more with 3L about Stotan Falls
Jin Lin, the co-owner of the Maple Pool Campground and RV Park, wants voters to know that she is not running for municipal office to settle any scores over the city’s failed lawsuit to shut down her business, and cost her family about $180,000.
Nor would she use a council position to lobby for a common room for residents of Maple Pool that would help her tenants reduce their electricity costs, but which they haven’t done because building in a flood plain requires too many additional rules and restrictions.
“I’m popular, I think, because people know I won’t do things for myself,” she said. “So no lobby for common room.”
She is running to help the city cut its expenses and lower taxes.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea to raise taxes. Once in awhile, okay, but not every year,” she told Decafnation. “People can’t afford it.
“The city has to think how to save money from expenses.”
She is concerned about this year’s hiring of 16 new employees, and thinks the city took the “easy way” of raising taxes, instead of reducing its expenditures.
FURTHER READING: For more interviews with candidates and a full list of who’s running for councils, regional district and school board, go to our Elections 2018 page
Lin and her husband, Dali, emigrated from Taiwan 25 years ago to start a sawmill that eventually closed, along with most independent sawmills in BC, due to the softwood lumber issue with the United States.
Since then, the couple have operated the Maple Pool Campground that caters to summer tourists with campsites along the Tsolum River and reserves another 53 year-round sites on higher ground as low-income housing for people living in RVs and trailers.
The Lins charge $360 per month for a trailer/RV site that includes water and sewer hookups. Residents pay their own BC Hydro bills.
They get new requests to rent sites every day. They give priority to young families with children, then seniors on fixed income and then the unemployed.
“I feel bad, I don’t have more,” Lin said. “But it’s not just simple as a business, we live and work on site, because it’s easier in management. Financially, we just can’t afford to hire employee.”
Lin said whether she gets elected or not isn’t important because politics for her is “a learning journey.”
She believes her cultural difference from everyone else on council could help bring more civility to the meetings.
“Don’t vote yes or no on issues, but to support things. Talk and negotiate, find the best solution,” she says. “We have different views, but we can talk.”
She think the Comox Valley Regional District should follow that principle and talk more with 3L Developments over their proposed Stotan Falls project.
Saying “it’s a beautiful property,” Lin would have to know more about the technical aspects of the proposal to comment specifically. But she says “the CVRD shouldn’t just say yes or no.”
“Many people don’t like houses there, but they (3L) have the land, they have the right,” she said.
Lin takes a similar approach to the city’s traffic problems. Before another bridge gets built, the city must look at other ways to reduce congestion. She mentions widening Cliffe Avenue and other approaches to the bridge, and thinks cloverleafs or overpasses aren’t out of the question.
“(They would be) expensive, but if they solve problem, then we have to think about it,” she said.
Lin would also take a cautious approach to decisions relating the legalization of marijuana next month.
“People have a right to smoke, but people also have right to clean air,” she said, noting that Maple Pool has a zero tolerance to illegal drugs. “We have to protect all the people.”
She’s hoping the provincial pot regulations will guide the city, and she is looking to the BC Lodging Association to learn more about how to handle marijuana issues at Maple Pool. Although she doesn’t think it’s a good idea to smoke around children.
Lin wants to borrow good ideas from Japan and Taiwan on recycling.
In Taiwan, she says young children are taught about the need to protect the environment and how to recycle in the schools, starting in the early grades. She thinks more education is the long-term answer.
“For example, Comox and Cumberland can recycle food waste, but not Courtenay. Why?” she said.
Lin is currently president of the Comox Valley Multicultural and Immigrant Support society, which helps new immigrants adjust to Canada life and encourages them to share their own culture.
She would like Courtenay Council and city staff to be as welcoming to different ways of thinking about “the little things that affect daily life.”
Lin says if the city would communicate better, it would help reduce conflict and lead to better solutions.