Community volunteer Jim Hinds is a council candidate in the 2014 municipal election.

Community volunteer enters race

District of Mission: Jim Hinds, candidate for council

A long time Mission resident is making his first run for municipal office.

Jim Hinds has lived in Mission for more than 30 years and has always kept a close eye on the operations at municipal hall.

Public safety and Mission’s downtown revitalization plan are top priorities for Hinds in this year’s election.

“For the last nine years, Mission has either cut the police budget or not added to it,” explained Hinds. “We are three to four officers understaffed and it has been that way for almost 10 years.”

The district needs to bring the number of police members up to the required levels and establish a presence downtown, according to Hinds.

While Hinds believes Mission’s downtown area needs improvement, he is critical of the current plan the district wants to unfold.

“We need to clean it up before we can pretty it up.”

He admits the plan has “some merits,” but says property owners need to come online before any significant changes can be made.

Hinds says taking truck traffic off First Avenue by moving the highway and introducing two-way traffic on the main street will cost millions of dollars and eliminate up to 100 parking stalls in the area.

“They’ll have to to put in loading zones on both sides of the street,” he explained.

Hinds, who worked for BC Hydro for 37 years, is now semi-retired and works as an independent contractor with Electrical Energy Training Group.

Hinds has worked in Mission since 1969, and has lived here since 1983. He began volunteering in the community three years later at the Mission Agricultural Fair and eventually served as its president. Hinds is involved with the Mission Arts Council Christmas Craft Fair Committee, Candlelight Parade marshal and committee organizer, Mission Community Archives, Mission District Historical Society, Mission Community Heritage Commission, Mission Fest, Royal Canadian Legion branch 57, BC Custom Car Association, and BC Hydro Power Pioneers.

He is married and has three children.