Another candidate wants to provide leadership in Nanaimo from the mayor’s chair.
Ray Farmere announced last week he will be running for mayor of the City of Nanaimo in this fall’s municipal election.
Farmere hopes that Nanaimo voters, when they mark their ballots, are thinking not only about municipal politics, but also provincial politics, and what it would mean if Nanaimo MLA Leonard Krog becomes mayor.
“That MLA is holding the balance, basically, in our current provincial government…” Farmere said. “Many people don’t really want to see the Liberals back in power.”
Farmere is a network administrator at Vancouver Island University, delivers newspapers and teaches ESL online. He doesn’t have experience in politics but said it’s always been a passion.
“I’ve always wanted to get into politics because I’ve wanted to help make a difference,” he said.
Affordable housing is one of his primary platform planks and he said the city can take measures to try to encourage more affordable housing and work with the province on projects.
“One of our biggest problems is the cost of rent here,” he said. “The cost of rent has led to things coming up like tent city and it’s been an absolute disaster that way.”
He’d also like to see the city take on a greater role in early childhood development, partnering with the province and school district on programs to try to make up for what he said were drastic cuts to education funding under the previous B.C. Liberal government.
Farmere said he understands the work that would be involved in being mayor, which he said is not only about chairing meetings, but also bringing ideas forward, trying to help create work opportunities in the city, taking leadership in crisis situations and being out and about in the community.
“I feel like being mayor, you have to know the people and what the people want and it means being involved with the people,” Farmere said. “It means actually getting out there with the people, it doesn’t mean sitting behind an office desk.”
Aside from Krog and now Farmere, Don Hubbard is the other declared candidate for mayor of Nanaimo.
To read other interviews with local government election candidates, click this link.