Name: Roger McKinnon
Business background with experience in real estate, hospitality and hotel management. Community involvement: A past chairman for B.C. Children’s Hospital in Nanaimo, founding member of the Oceanside Rotary Club, founding member of the Vancouver Island University Foundation, past instructor at VIU, chairman of Blair McKinnon Foundation, past chairman of Big Brothers, past president of Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and I was the vice-chairman for Image Nanaimo.
Why are you running for public office?
I am running for mayor because it is evident the Nanaimo and its citizens are ready for a change. The critical feeling that is expressed time and time again by Nanaimo citizens is that a lack of leadership is the problem with mayor, the current council and within the senior city staff. The result is that Nanaimo is losing out in a number of important areas and the lack of trust is impacting the level of efficiency required to run the city properly. Transparency with the actions of the mayor and council is another area where change is needed.
What three priorities are important to you and how do you plan to tackle these issues, if elected?
Jobs – Our children and grandchildren need better options to stay in Nanaimo whether they want to and not many have to leave to seek employment elsewhere. I will use a creative approach to welcome and encourage new businesses to work with existing ones to make Nanaimo business friendly. The technology field is only one of many areas that should be encouraged to bring their business here and create more jobs.
Budget – the city budget and city spending are out of control – decisions are made too quickly that spend large amounts of our tax dollars without thinking things through and without consulting the public. Taxes increase every year and home owners are fatigued by the amount of taxes they have to pay and cheated by what they get in return from the city. There is no fiscal financial leadership at the top as taxes have gone up approximately 23 per cent over the last six years and the city has budgeted an increase of 10.5 per cent over the next three years with no decrease in taxes in sight.
New possibilities – I want Nanaimo to entertain all kinds of exciting projects and new tourist attractions to pump up the local economy and create jobs. Think about music festivals, food events, sporting events, and special event shows.
How do you plan to manage taxes and spending?
With better financial planning. Running the city like a business. No more large purchases without community input, use local expertise and local consultants. I also intend to work with CUPE to see how we can be more efficient with what we have, so they can enjoy their jobs more as well.
What do you think it takes to lead Nanaimo? Describe your leadership or co-working style.
I think first of all it is going to take honesty and a lot of hard work rebuilding trust, instilling integrity and restoring damaged relationships on all levels. My leadership style is that of motivating and inspiring a team to be true team players. My past experience in successfully running small, medium and large businesses is also very important. What have the other candidates accomplished in business or are all of their accomplishments only in political or academic fields?