ELECTION: City volunteer offers life experience
Merritt city council candidate Jack Polmans is hoping that the third time is a charm.
Polmans first ran for council in 2008 and then again in the November 2011 general elections and received 712 and 608 votes respectively. Now as Merritt gets ready for the Sept. 15 byelection he’s hoping that voters will give him a chance to serve on council.
“I feel that I can be of service to the community,” he said. “Life experience is one of the big things I can offer and I am retired therefore I have time to devote myself to whatever comes up.”
Polmans first arrived in Merritt from Holland with his family in 1952. He spent his youth here and met and married his wife Mavis before moving to 100 Mile House and then Delta where they raised their family. A month after he retired seven years ago, the Polmans moved back to Merritt.
Since then, Polmans has volunteered on many city committees including the City Centre Board, the ATV Task Force, the Olympic Task Force, and the Directional Signage Committee as well as volunteering as a director at the Nicola Valley Museum and Archives.
Besides his experience in the community, Polmans said his situation makes him a good choice.
“I’m going after this position without an agenda,” he said. “The only thing I own in town is my own home and so the decisions I make would be for the good of the citizens.
“I can look at each motion and study it and it doesn’t affect me in any personal way — and I certainly have the time to do it.”
Fiscal responsibility is at the top of the list for Polmans and as a councillor he said he would like to see better management of residents’ tax dollars.
“People are worried about taxes,” he said. “I don’t see us reducing the taxes, but I’d sure like to see better use of the money they collect.”
For example Polmans said more money should be allocated to infrastructure. With the DeWolf Way improvements complete, he said visitors see a beautiful entrance to town but encounter potholes when they drive along Merritt streets.
Polmans said he is also concerned about the way council handled local volunteers when the city committees were re-organized.
“Volunteers on these committees got letters saying thanks for your service but we don’t need you anymore,” he said. “The city decided they needed new people, but it’s always the same people that volunteer and now it’s a shame that some of their good volunteers are gone.”
Polmans frequently attends city council meetings and said he watches the meeting on television when he’s not there. Several years ago he volunteered to help run the cameras for Shaw Cable during city council meetings and that is what first sparked his interest in running for council, he said.