Four candidates seeking mayor's office in Nanaimo


Dan Didio says he’s running for mayor to bring accountability to the way city hall spends taxpayer money and to offer alternatives for people unhappy with the low-barrier housing process.

“I see a solution to a really big problem we have, which is overtaxing and overspending,” said Didio, 39, a retired computer programmer. “I have a simple, tax-free solution, which is to create a computer program, which I could put together in about a day, and it tracks the spending of taxpayer money and puts it on a webpage so all can see what is being spent. Any major expenditures should be voted on by residents.”

Didio said he believes a solution to the low-barrier housing issue in Nanaimo is to place housing units in industrial areas rather than residential ones, a move he said will “bring industrial areas to life” by generating commercial opportunities such as cafés and corner stores for those being housed there, while eliminating conflict with seniors’ centres and schools.

Didio said he is also researching biofilters as a way to reduce costs on sewage processing.



Nanaimo mayoralty candidate Jim Routledge plans to bring his business philosophy of complete honesty and transparency in everything he does to city hall if elected Nov. 19.

“If I get information and share it, I know where it is. The whole transparency issue to me is one of communication,” said Routledge, 57. “You can’t underestimate the input you get from the public.”

Owner and CEO of Nanaimo’s Routledge Homes, Routledge was born in Vancouver and received a bachelor of commerce degree from the University of British Columbia.

Living in Nanaimo since 1982, he is an active member of Toastmasters, the Nanaimo Rowing Club and TD Bank Friends of the Environment Foundation.

His No. 1 election priority is a footbridge to Newcastle Island as a way to attract economic development to the area.

“A bridge to Newcastle speaks directly to attracting  people, attracting homeowners and attracting businesses to Nanaimo,” he said.

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Roger McKinnon believes leadership, direction and vision will make Nanaimo one of the leading small cities in B.C. with a strong economy and a rich community spirit that supports all its citizens and celebrates its diversity.

“Instead of mayor and council, staff and taxpayers fighting amongst each other, let’s work as a team,” said the 56-year-old candidate for mayor in the Nov. 19 municipal election. “Our competition is other cities on the Island and around the province. Instead of having three teams, we need one team – Team Nanaimo.”

Owner of McKinnon and Associates, a real estate consulting firm, McKinnon is a graduate of Malaspina College, past chairman for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Vancouver Island,  is a founding member of the Vancouver Island University Foundation and was president of the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board.

“My community is an important part of my conscience,” he said.

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JOHN RUTTAN * (incumbent)

It has been a busy three years for Mayor John Ruttan, and he anticipates if re-elected, the next three will be even more productive.

From two key neighbourhood plan adoptions to the acquisition of  1.2 hectares at Neck Point Park, and a new zoning bylaw to the adoption of a new Nanaimo Cultural Strategy, Ruttan said looking back, he is proud of what council has done.

“Some people say we got off to a slow start and were indecisive but my style is being inclusive, letting people voice their opinions,” said Ruttan, 72. “As a result, looking back, we as a council have accomplished a lot over the past three years.”

His greatest achievement, he says, was the creation of the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation, which will focus on generating economic prosperity by adding jobs while making the city an even more attractive place to invest. To coincide with that, the Development Process Review and Nanaimo Progress Board have also been established by Ruttan this term to oversee economic development progress.

If elected again, Ruttan said he will introduce his Nanaimo 2020 plan, an initiative to build consensus among city stakeholders to move Nanaimo forward in a unified and cohesive direction.

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