Name: Jerry Hong
I moved to Nanaimo in 1981 and attended Princess Anne Elementary School then Woodlands High School. I graduated with a Bachelors Degree from Malaspina University-College. I currently own The Queen’s Hotel, The Oxy Pub and Liquor Store and Koncept Nightclub. I am a founding member of The Nanaimo Barwatch Program. The program has had tremendous success in reducing unruly behaviour from patrons in bars and nightclubs, making Nanaimo one of the safest nighttime entertainment areas in the province. The program has set the benchmark for which other similar cities now follow. I have been on the board of directors for the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association since 2011.
Why are you running for public office?
Over the past few years, we have had past council members make promises to the citizens that were never fulfilled. We, the citizens, are fed up because the old council do not listen to people’s concerns and make changes that benefit everyone in Nanaimo. I believe that we need a fresh approach to attract innovative businesses and attractions that will stimulate our growth in our city.
What three priorities are important to you and how do you plan to tackle these issues, if elected?
Tourism: We need to continue to support and promote tourism in Nanaimo and invest in destination development that attracts businesses to Nanaimo. I will work to create more festivals and other activities for the citizens of Nanaimo; ensure downtown is a safe and vibrant place for all to enjoy; support viable parking that will not hurt business growth.
Infrastructure: I believe that building a strong infrastructure is important to our growth but should also be practical, innovative and balanced with the city’s history, lifestyle and local values. To do this I will work to support practical infrastructure, renewal and innovation.
Inspiring and advocacy for young adults: We need to support young people who are looking for good, sustainable jobs. A healthy community must include a variety of employment opportunities. I will work to keep people here and reduce the need for families to relocate or commute to other cities for a family sustaining income. I will inspire young adults to get involved in their community, support local businesses and instil pride for their communities.
How do you plan to manage taxes and spending?
Healthy businesses will lead to healthy employment. Because of this belief, I am committed to serving the needs of local residents and making long-term decisions that will benefit the members of our business community. I will work to eliminate careless spending and reduce the amount of tax dollars required to maintain our municipal government. I will explore tax innovations and ways to establish competitive tax rates for business and cut red tape.
What do you think it takes to lead Nanaimo? Describe your leadership or co-working style.
To be a leader, it takes great listening skills, knowledge of their surroundings and environment and the ability to make common-sense decisions for all the citizens of Nanaimo.