Tofino Local Profile: Mayor Josie Osborne
Her Worship, Mayor Josie Osborne Talks about Tofino
Energy, Passion and Sincerity… Words one would always want to associate with our leaders. Gratefully, here in Tofino those are the words often used to describe our current Mayor, Josie Osborne.
Mayor Osborne arrived in Tofino 15 years ago as a fresh faced university grad. An undergrad degree in Marine Biology and a master’s degree in Resource Management under her belt, Josie found her dream job in a location she had enjoyed all her life. She was hired by the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Counciil to work on the water, studying the environment with members of the local First Nations communities. How was she to know that this would be the best training ground for anyone who might one day become Mayor of Tofino? That was certainly never the goal for Josie in her early career. She thought she would work on the rugged west coast waters off Vancouver Island for 2 or 3 years, and then move on.
Plans change, and often the heart is involved. That is indeed the case for our current Mayor. She fell in love with “the boy next door” and she fell in love with the community of Tofino. “My career brought me to Tofino but the people keep me here.”
Mayor Osborne has spent most of her career doing what she can to help make Tofino a world class destination. After working with First Nations for 6 years, Josie took the next 9 years to become a self-employed fisheries consultant, operate the Tofino Botanical Gardens with her husband (the boy next door), George Patterson, become the Executive Director of the Raincoast Society, chair the Tourism Tofino Board of Directors and serve on many festival boards, always with the best interested of Tofitians in mind.
Mayor Osborne feels the people of Tofino are living in this end of the road community “on purpose.” “People don’t come to Tofino by accident and they don’t stay unless they find a good fit for themselves. I see this passion for purposefully living strongest in the small business people of Tofino.” From her point of view, the most successful business people in Tofino are the ones who “get it”. They understand that what is best for everyone in this small town is going to be best for their own organization as well.
“I am life-long learner. I see that trait in many of my neighbours too.” Indeed this mayor has learned to stay connected with her constituents in the digital age. She communicates through social media often. The feedback she gets from the locals is often quick and full of insight. “Facebook and Twitter allow me to get honest reactions from the community in a way not available to past politicians. I love the immediacy of social media. Other than personally meeting the people of Tofino, there is no better way to stay in touch with the people I serve.”
Josie is enjoying her role as Mayor of Tofino so much so that she will be running for Mayor again in the fall of 2014. If you would like to stay in touch with her, you can find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/josie.osborne.tofino and on Twitter at @Josie_Osborne.