A former mayor believes Nanaimo’s civic leadership would benefit from his budgeting know-how and other experience.
Gary Korpan, who was mayor for 15 years between 1993 and 2008, is running again for city council. He has been a candidate in every civic election in Nanaimo since the 1980s and finished 11th of 40 council candidates in 2018. He said he feels a duty to serve the City of Nanaimo, especially after four years observing current councillors.
“I shake my head often and just can’t believe some of the decisions they’ve been making,” Korpan said.
He ran a law practice for 20 years and had police experience in his youth and said he’s quite concerned about the state of public safety, for seniors and others.
“It seems to me that council could be taking a more active role in ensuring public safety,” Korpan said.
The other “big issue” that he’s seen has been what he perceives to be a lack of financial prudence – he said the current council has been “spendthrift” and wonders, for example, why certain road reconstruction projects come before what he considers more necessary road repairs such as fixing potholes.
“Spending has been increasing far faster than the rate of inflation and I think we need somebody on council who’s going to be a watchdog…” he said. “Looking at all the budget items and scrutinizing them to see whether they’re of good value or not.”
Korpan asks citizens to cast their votes thoughtfully, and hopes for good voter turnout to limit the influence that special interest groups can have in getting out the vote for certain preferred candidates.
“Special interests are dominating the majority on council and it’s not in the interests of the general taxpayer,” he said. “I’ve been constantly an independent, I don’t seek the endorsement of any special interest group and I want to maintain no conflicts of interest.”
Anyone running for mayor or councillor in the City of Nanaimo or the District of Lantzville, regional director in the Regional District of Nanaimo’s Area A, B, C or E, or school trustee in School District 68 is asked to contact the Nanaimo News Bulletin to set up an interview or invite us to a campaign launch event. Phone Greg Sakaki at 250-734-4621 or e-mail email@example.com.