There are many ways people give back to the Whitehorse community, says city councillor Roslyn Woodcock.
For her, it’s her position on council that allows her to give back, and that’s something she wants to continue for another three years.
In an interview after Monday evening’s council meeting, Woodcock announced her plans to seek a second term in office to do the work she says is very rewarding.
“It’s extremely challenging and frustrating work,” she said, before going on to note that often the most challenging work can be the most rewarding.
The last three years as a councillor have presented Woodcock with some of the hardest and most rewarding work she’s done.
And it’s an obligation she takes seriously as she balances the more immediate interests and concerns in the community with the long-term vision that will take Whitehorse into the future.
“It’s important work,” she said.
An update to the Official Community Plan (OCP), which serves as a guiding document for the city, is set for next year.
That will be complemented by continuing efforts to follow through on a number of recently adopted documents – the Transit Master Plan and the Bicycle Network Plan, for example.
“All of those feed into the OCP,” Woodcock said, adding she’s wants to be part of the implementation over the next few years of the plans that have recently been adopted, as well as being part of the development of the next OCP.
She praised city staff’s work in looking at the city’s long-term future through its planning processes.
It wasn’t that long ago that a number of people in the community were critical of the Whistle Bend area, with many commenting on it as a “dust-bowl” that wouldn’t draw residents.
Today, the neighbourhood is growing substantially with many residents who enjoy living there.
It’s the foresight in planning, which includes community consultation, that allows for the success of such development and contributes to positive neighbourhoods, she said.
Similarly, Woodcock noted it would be hard to find anyone today critical of the Millennium Trail winding along the Yukon River downtown.
During the planning, however, there were many who didn’t want the paved pathway to be developed.
It’s that long-term vision for the overall good of the city that Woodcock considers when she’s making decisions on council.
In her own neighbourhood downtown, Woodcock noted current plans could see many new residents moving into the area in future years.
She may not want to see her neighbourhood population rise so significantly.
However, she pointed to the benefits of adding density to existing neighbourhoods in the city. She favours that over going into undisturbed areas like Long Lake to add housing.
“Our community is growing so fast,” she said, adding she’s excited to see where the city goes over the next 10 to 15 years.
The Whitehorse and Marsh Lake areas together are now home to about 30,000 people.
As for what the biggest issues will be in the Oct. 18 vote, Woodcock said that is “totally up to the public.”
It’s important to note, she continued, that good governance does not revolve around one specific issue. Rather, it takes into account the entire community and the long-term vision.
Woodcock went on to stress that while she has her own stance on issues like density in existing neighbourhoods, for example, she won’t guarantee any big changes for the city should she be re-elected.
“I will be one of seven,” she said of the role of council.
She went on to highlight the direct democratic process of council, with six people with “completely different” backgrounds considering issues and voting on the direction to take.
While she may not always share the same view point as her fellow council members, she said the process allows for those different views to be represented at the table where decisions are made.
As Woodcock gets set to seek another term in office, she said she encourages all eligible voters to get out and cast their ballots, as this is their opportunity to have a direct say in who sits at the council table.
She pointed out the city has worked to have numerous polling stations opened as well as opportunities to vote via proxy, advance polls and mobile polls.
Woodcock lives downtown with her partner and their dog.
She owns two businesses: Plan: Write Consulting and Imagine Laserworks.
She’s also been involved with a number of organizations ranging from the Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre to the Guild Hall to the Skookum Jim Friendship Centre, Volunteer Bénévoles Yukon and more over the years since moving here in 1999.
Woodcock is the first councillor to publicly announce plans to seek re-election. No non-member has publicly expressed plans to pursue a councillor’s seat in October.
In the 2015 election, Woodcock collected 2,347 votes, finishing fourth in the race for council.
Mayor Dan Curtis and local resident Wilf Carter are the two declared mayoral candidates. Carter also challenged Curtis in the 2015 election.