A businessman and former councillor in northern B.C. wants to bring his business sense to Nanaimo city council.
Frank Pluta, 66, is one of 29 candidates vying for eight city councillor positions in the Oct. 15 local government election.
Pluta is now an administrator with a tree service company and has lived in Nanaimo since 2005, but before that he worked for the family business in McBride, B.C., where he was a councillor and regional director for one term.
He said he’s heard “a cry for more business experience” brought to decision-making at the city council table.
“In business you have to be not only honest to yourself, but to your clientele. If you’re not, you lose business, you fold and you go under,” he said. “We have to [have] the same kind of mentality when we’re looking at our budgets, our staffing, our programs, our funding, to make sure we do the right things and we’re the right caretakers for the community.”
Pluta said in his opinion, current city councillors have too often rubber-stamped staff recommendations without enough consideration. He said he’s ready to take on the work of a city councillor again and is ready to question decisions being made.
“I really feel people are looking for accountability for some of the spending that’s been going on, projects that seem to be pet projects or doughnut economy projects such as the Metral Drive situation,” he said.
Pluta believes there was insufficient consultation on that project and suggested engaging the public has the dual benefit of involving the community while also learning a thing or two.
“One of the things I’d like to push for is tapping into our braintrust – our senior citizens,” he said. “We have so many retired engineers, civil engineers, mechanical engineers, we have planners all throughout our community. Why can’t we tap into their expertise?”
One recent city decision that Pluta would like to revisit is the adoption of the city plan, which he said is too many pages for residents to leaf through and “overdone.” He also doesn’t like that its framework is based on a philosophy developed by a U.K. economist.
“Why do we need to get somebody from England who’s connected with the World Economic Forum? I think they have another agenda in mind and that’s making us the target city here in Canada to be an example for the doughnut economy,” he said.
Pluta said public safety has been another major topic of discussion on the campaign trail. He favours bringing back the auxiliary RCMP program and likes the idea of post-secondary tourism students as downtown ambassadors.
For more information, visit www.voteforfrank.ca.