Businessman Walter Jakeway wants to see major changes at City Hall – starting with himself in the mayor’s chair.
“I haven’t been happy with what’s going on,” Jakeway said, announcing his bid for mayor Wednesday morning. “It’s time to contribute and turn this thing around. I think it’s time for a complete change – they’re not bad people but they’ve had their chance and it ain’t working. It’s been three, six years – how long do they think they need?”
Jakeway, 59, a former operations manager for the Alberni papermill and maintenance foreman for the Elk Falls pulp and paper mill, said he has the skills to be an effective mayor.
“Working with a leadership team (council) and overseeing a physical plant like the city is a natural role for me, similar to the the duties that I handled successfully for much of the last few decades in the private sector,” said Jakeway who is currently the president of Campbell River Storage Warehouses.
If elected, Jakeway said he will work to keep taxes stable and attract new business.
“My focus will be on a fresh, energetic future, a clear positive direction and, if the new council agrees, working within strict financial constraints and lower costs,” Jakeway said. “We need to develop a receptive atmosphere for potential businesses moving here; they need to see we have a genuine, receptive atmosphere.”
Jakeway said currently the city is anything but and points to the recent Chamber of Commerce survey – which indicates members feel the city is not business friendly – to prove his point.
“I agree with the survey completely,” Jakeway said.
He said business taxes need to be lower in order to compete with other communities, such as Courtenay, for new industry.
“Business taxes just aren’t encouraging people to come here,” Jakeway said. “The city is just not receptive to business which is what the survey is saying. I have three adult children and they can’t work here because there’s no jobs here. Something’s wrong.”
Jakeway said the city needs a fresh start.
“When it comes to the shooting gallery, the mayor is always the target,” Jakeway said. “But election day, Nov.19, can be a positive turning point for Campbell River if the city voters choose a majority of new council candidates who have a financially responsible, benevolent, yet common sense approach. Don’t let the opportunity slip away. Seize the day.”
Jakeway’s announcement makes it a four-person race for mayor with Michel Rabu and current councillors Roy Grant and Ziggy Stewart in the mix.