Election 2014: Handful of hopefuls vie for Nanaimo mayor’s chair

NANAIMO – Al Thompson submits nomination papers, along with Brunie Brunie, while three others express intentions to run.

Al Thompson doesn’t like the way the city is being run, so he’s tossed his name into the mayoral ring to do something about it.

Thompson has become one of the first mayoral candidates to formally enter the race, along with Brunie Brunie.

Coun. Bill McKay and Roger McKinnon have announced intentions to run for the top seat on council, but did not submit nomination papers before press time yesterday. Jim Routledge has indicated a desire to join the race, but said on his website he won’t make a final decision until Oct. 10. He was unavailable for comment.

For Thompson, a trucker and business owner, this is his first foray into municipal politics. He said he doesn’t like the way the city is being run, with one problem being “wasted money” and he’s looking to address issues like spending,  investment in social programs  and ensuring council – not city hall – controls the municipality.

“We’re not helping people. We are spending fortunes on trying to get a tourist here. They don’t come,” he said, adding he’d like to see money spent on better day care, food “for the young folks” and infrastructure repairs.

As part of his bid, he supports a three-year freeze on taxes and would like to scrap a $4.6-million partnership promise with the Port Theatre Society for a new studio. He calls it silly, questioning why the community needs another theatre.

But his first job, if elected, would be to meet with council members, which he said have to get together and form a group that’s friendly toward one another.

“We may not all agree, but we have to work together and that’s the way it has to be,” he said.

“We have to drive the  city forward to help the people. Not bring in tourists. We don’t care about tourists. This is a working man’s town. Always has been, always will be,” Thompson said.

The nomination period opened Tuesday. Candidates will be able to submit papers to formally declare their candidacy until 4 p.m. Oct. 10.

According to Chris Jackson, chief election officer, there was a rush of submissions Tuesday morning, with 10 names put forward for mayor and council.

“What I understand is it’s busier than it has been on the first day in the past,” he said.

Council candidates include: Gord Fuller, Jim Goldsack, Scott Henderson, Karen Hovestad, Geraldine Manson, Jim Taylor, Ian Thompson and incumbent Fred Pattje.

On Tuesday (Oct. 7), the city will host an information meeting 7 p.m. at city hall for candidates or potential contenders to ask questions and learn about the job.