Coun. Jerry Hong said he will be running for re-election to city council in the upcoming municipal election. PHOTO SUBMITTED

Nanaimo councillor Hong seeks re-election, says there’s more work to do

Coun. Jerry Hong will put his name forward for Oct. 20 municipal election

A current Nanaimo city councillor wants another term.

Coun. Jerry Hong told the News Bulletin he will be running for a seat on city council in the upcoming municipal election on Oct. 20. Hong said his decision to run came down to a desire to finish a lot of the work that had been started by council, but remains unfinished.

“Being a first-term councillor I thought I could just come in there and make all these changes but I soon realized the process that it takes to get there is a lot longer than it does in the private world,” he said. “There are things that we’ve started, things that we’ve accomplished, but there is more that I want to do.”

Hong said the top items on his mind include revitalizing the city’s downtown core, implementing a derelict building bylaw and cutting red tape at city hall. He said it takes far too long to obtain demolition permits and building permits.

“It is pretty ridiculous,” he said. “There has to be way that we can make this easier.”

The first-term councillor said while more work is needed to improve the city’s downtown, he’s pleased with what has happened since the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association was dismantled. Hong said said he wants to see downtown become more eclectic and filled with life, adding that it is very important to attract and retain young people who can contribute to the vibrancy of downtown.

“It just can’t be stale,” he said, adding that he wants to be part of the upcoming official community plan review.

Nanaimo also needs more development in other areas of the city, according to Hong, who said that increased development will help provide housing and expand the tax base for the city.

“We don’t always have to increase taxes. We need to find other ways to generate revenue and a prime example of that is increasing our tax base through development, thoughtful development,” he said. “If we can do that, we can do a lot more.”

Hong said he’s learned a lot during his time on council and believes that despite the negativity, council has accomplished a lot since 2014, citing the purchase of parkland at Linley Valley, the creation of the Steve Smith Bike Park, the partnership on NDSS Community Field and the introduction of a 10-year tax exemption downtown.

When asked about his decision to hire and support former chief administrative officer Tracy Samra, Hong said he fully believes that a CAO should not be someone who was brought up in the ranks of the city. He said he wants to see CAOs have term limits so they aren’t employed at the municipality for decades.

“I think we should always rotate and that is why I supported a term with Samra,” he said, adding if elected, he plans to push hard for term limits on city managers.

As a councillor, Hong said he felt he was calm, cool and able to make informed decisions based on information presented to him, which he believes is a “key element” to being a good member of council. He said he’s proud of being able to keep taxes low, while being able to add to the city’s asset management fund.

“I think that is one of the most important things we need to do for our children and our grandchildren, is having the foresight to plan the city so that they are not left holding the bag,” Hong said.

To read interviews with other local government election candidates, click here.




nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com 
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram

 

Just Posted

Discontent City expecting decision on injunction tomorrow

Lawyer representing individuals involved with homeless camp says he’ll be advised of judgment

Downtown Nanaimo hotel project moving forward

PEG Development submitted an updated permit application for a proposed hotel at 100 Gordon St.

Close to $10,000 worth of tools taken from construction site in Nanaimo

Theft happened overnight Sept. 12-13 on Old Slope Place

OPINION: Crowded ballot contains reasons to be encouraged

Somewhere within a list of 44 candidates, there’s a city council that can work in Nanaimo

VIDEO: International Day of Peace activities planned in Nanaimo

Unity Spiritual Education Centre of Nanaimo planning public walk, labyrinth dedication Sept. 21-22

VIDEO: International Day of Peace activities planned in Nanaimo

Unity Spiritual Education Centre of Nanaimo planning public walk, labyrinth dedication Sept. 21-22

Candidate lists finalized for Nanaimo, Lantzville, RDN, school district

Nomination deadline passes in advance of Oct. 20 local government elections

Beefs & Bouquets, Sept. 20

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Council reverses past practice, will broadcast meetings during election campaign

Nanaimo city council votes 5-4 to continue with broadcasts

Porsche and Subaru dealerships can proceed with planning in north Nanaimo

City council unanimously allows rezoning application process to move forward

Departure Bay school parents concerned about rotating learning space

Eco-school students being taught in library and picnic areas, say parents

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

Most Read