Name: Fred Pattje
Occupation/background: Born in the Netherlands and immigrated to Canada on my own at age 19. Was hired by Canadian Pacific Airlines in 1964 and retired 36 years later from Canadian Airlines International, 26 years of which I commuted, on weekends, between Vancouver and Nanaimo. Founding member of the Departure Bay Neighbourhood Association as well as the Friends of Plan Nanaimo, an organization concerned with urban planning. First elected to council in 2008 and re-elected in 2011.
Why are you running for public office?
To make a difference. I want to work hard to make Nanaimo the best possible place to live and work in. After two terms on council I know the ropes and have gained valuable experience that will serve this municipality well during the next four challenging years.
What three priorities are important to you and how do you plan to tackle these issues, when elected?
Maintaining a safe and secure community: this means I will work to ensure effective police and firefighting services and continued maintenance and improvement of our water, sewer and road infrastructure. I will continue to promote strong, vibrant neighbourhoods in a quality environment. I will work hard to increase affordable housing and to reduce poverty.
Jobs: I will work to attract and retain new businesses to Nanaimo that bring well-paying jobs in the high-tech and knowledge-based sectors. I will push to implement a review of the municipal commercial tax structure with the aim to reduce taxes on small enterprises of all kinds since they provide the majority of jobs.
Urban planning: Now that we have the South Downtown Waterfront vision and guidelines, I will make certain that these are followed and applied. I have been part of this work since its inception and am familiar with the work still to be done.
How do you manage taxes and spending?
Responsible spending of tax dollars requires a complete understanding of the municipal budgeting process and its complexities, which I do. Coming from the Netherlands, I was taught to count your pennies three times before spending and, forced by my father, to deposit half my allowance in the bank for a rainy day. These important lessons I still apply. Spending taxpayers’ money is a trust which I take very seriously.
What do you think it takes to lead Nanaimo? Describe your leadership or co-working style:
A leader must be accessible, know how to listen, ask the right questions, do his/her homework, work collegially, make decisions and then act in the best interest of the whole community. I have consistently practised this during my years on council.