Name: Jack de Jong
I am a graduate of Loyola and Concordia University, married with three children and four grandchildren. I enjoyed a successful 35-year technical career with Bell Canada in engineering and operations management and with Bell Canada International as a consultant and director of operations in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Australia. I retired as director of System Services and Methods. I have lived in Lantzville for the last 23 years.
Why are you running for office?
I believe that if you have time and administrative skills it is important to make a contribution to your community. The last three years have been an enriching experience, sometimes frustrating, but overall rewarding. I hope to continue to provide the type of constructive leadership my community expects of me.
What three priorities are important to you?
Provide constructive leadership to staff and, in co-operation with council, strengthen our ability to manage the various services which under the legislation are the responsibility of the municipality i.e. environmental protection and sustainability, infrastructure (roads, water, sewers) and bylaw enforcement.
Ensure that the community and council’s various service objectives and desires are consistent with our financial ability.
Facilitate and encourage the provisioning of some senior and affordable housing.
How do you plan to tackle these issues if elected?
Our citizens and our employees are our most important asset. It is important to bridge the various opinions and build consensus. I believe that my last three years as mayor have shown that I have that ability.
My prior work experience in capital management and budget management has proven constructive. With Lantzville’s small and primarily residential tax base, every dollar counts. I will continue to work with the community, council and staff to ensure value for money.
Our recent water agreement with Nanaimo has opened up opportunities to meet some of Lantzville’s objectives: senior and affordable housing, and a stable water supply for the whole community. It will be my objective to work with council and staff to see these through.
How do you plan to manage taxes and spending?
Municipal governments collect only eight per cent of the total tax and are challenged to meet the expectations of their citizens directly. Lantzville has one of the lowest municipal tax revenues per capita ($406) in B.C. and I intend to keep it that way. I took a pay cut in my first term and I support a reduction in council size this election: these show how seriously I take fiscal responsibility.
What do you think it takes to lead the District of Lantzville? Describe your leadership or co-working style:
I believe that the mayor and council need to keep an open mind and consider all factors and alternatives before making decisions. We should be receptive to new ideas, recognize mistakes, and act accordingly. No one has all the answers and there should be sufficient interpersonal skills to handle ambiguity, analyze situations, and grasp the main issues so we can move forward as a community.
I encourage involvement and participation in order to build co-operative relationships. I am sensitive to individual and group dynamics and adjust accordingly. I do my research and homework and expect the same from staff and council.