Name: Stephen Cochrane
Occupation/background : Job and life skills coordinator for Nanaimo Foodshare Society, background with recreational leadership, marketing and accounting, facilities/restaurant management, counseling, carpentry and employment skills.
Why are you running for public office?
I am running because I want people to know that they will have a true advocate and voice on city council. Too often friends have told me or I myself have looked for answers and wondered why things were happening in our city with no explanation – I want to change that.
What three priorities are important to you and how do you plan to tackle them if elected?
Want to get city council and staff working together again as a cohesive group that listen to the people of Nanaimo. I will address conflicts head on and work collaboratively to find a solution.
Get city spending in check so that taxpayers are getting a good bang for their buck. The answer is not necessarily to freeze, lower or increase taxes but to have a core review and see where money is being spent, for what reason and if there is a sound long-range plan.
To create events and reasons for people to come and want to live and stay in Nanaimo. By developing recreation opportunities, increasing income generating events (like Bathtub weekend) as well as promoting industry/business that support the growing of local food and people that need employment opportunities.
How to you plan to manage taxes and spending?
Managing taxes starts with an effective plan in spending and should be determined by the required need, not the other way around. If you don’t prioritize or have a long-range plan you will never achieve balance. In business or even in our households if you don’t have the money projects are tabled until you have the money coming in or you don’t spend it. You make a budget that is realistic to what is needed after reviewing what is necessary. Being one part of nine, it’s important that all are in agreement or the decision to spend should not go forward.
What do you think it takes to lead Nanaimo? Describe your leadership or co-working style.
It takes someone willing to listen to all opinions before putting any plan into action, someone who can make decisions and stick to it if it’s the right thing to do and someone who has vision and foresight to evaluate when things are not working and come up with a better plan to support all those who are affected. I am a proven leader already and usually lead by example with integrity and honesty. I would not ask anyone I’m working for or with to do anything that I couldn’t do myself. I am collaborative and inclusive with everyone and extremely effective with Networking and finding resources to support the people of Nanaimo.