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

City of Nanaimo issues building permit for Gordon Street hotel

Ground-breaking for $21-million project anticipated this spring

Vancouver Island Brewing puts Nanaimo bar on tap

Beer based on signature Nanaimo dessert flying off liquor retailers’ shelves

Former executive director no longer with Pacifica Housing

Operator of Labieux Road and Uplands Walk housing shifts leadership

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Sidewalk snow clearing needs to be prioritized

Hope and patience isn’t solving the problem, says letter writer

Governance top of mind as Nanaimo council works on its strategic plan

Council working with facilitator to develop draft plan, public consultation still to come

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Beefs & Bouquets, Feb. 21

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

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Auditor General Carol Bellringer, ‘eminent jurist’ to examine allegations

Former National Ballet principal dancer will hold classes in Nanaimo

Goh begins her cross-Canada Masterclass Series tour at Kirkwood Academy

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

NDSS senior girls win Vancouver Island basketball championship

Nanaimo District wins first AAA girls’ Island title in 29 years

Federal fisheries minister calls for precautionary approach to fish farming

Government still reviewing Federal Court’s decision on PRV – Wilkinson

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Most Read