ELECTION 2014: Mayoralty candidate frustrated by strife at Campbell River city hall

Andy Adams says citizens expect a council to operate in cohesive manner

Mayoralty candidate Andy Adams admits to being frustrated by the strife and conflict that has characterized city council.

That’s one of the reasons he has decided to run for mayor.

“That has been somewhat frustrating which is part of the reason why I am stepping up,” Adams said. “Because I think Campbell River can do better. I think the citizens of Campbell River deserve better and they expect a council to operate in cohesive manner, in a professional manner and guide the community. That’s what they elect us for.”

Adams did not want to engage in a war of words with the current mayor but he made it clear that if he becomes mayor, he will be “focused, positive, professional and credible.”

In fact, he said, those will be keywords of his mayoralty.

“I will guide council to work together in developing a clear vision of what we want to do and how we are going to get there‚Ķtogether,” he said. “We must be focused, positive, professional and credible. I will draw on the strengths and expertise of council, mentor and delegate to enable all members of council to be contributing members of a team.

“Council and City Hall must reach out and engage the community at large, whether it be community groups or individuals to ensure that we grow and prosper.”

Adams referred to the deteriorating morale and climate at City Hall with incumbent Mayor Walter Jakeway’s history of criticising senior city staff.

“We have had significant challenges over the past three years in retaining and recruiting staff due to lack of support and leadership from some of our elected officials,” Adams said. “As with any organization there is always room for improvement, and a review of structure and roles to ensure that we are providing the best value for tax dollars at City Hall will be done.”

The next four years will be the most critical in establishing the vision and future for Campbell River, Adams said.

“For years the common phrase has been ‘Campbell River has so much potential,'” he said. “We need a plan and vision on how best to reach that potential. The current boom in building of commercial and residential development, and the infusion of economic stimulus of the $1 billion dollar John Hart Hydro Project and the $300 million Campbell River Hospital project (all initiatives of previous councils) will last through 2017. In that four-year window, council must set the foundation for long term sustainable growth, development and jobs.

“It will be a very long time before we see this type of stimulus funding in our community and we must maximize the benefits and opportunities that we have been given. We need to set a plan in place for job creation in industry, education, research, healthcare, expanded aquaculture, aerospace, tourism and service sectors, or tech and creative industries; jobs that will attract people to Campbell River and also provide opportunities for local workers who have had to commute to other regions to reunite with their families.”

Adams said his No. 1 goal is to bring stability to Campbell River.

Adams pointed out that there will be at least three new members of city council after the fall election. He encourages people to consider running. But he rejected the idea of a slate of candidates saying the community needs the best individuals to come forward for the benefit of the city.

“I do not support the notion of a slate, as a true leader should be able to bring Council together as a strong dynamic team that can move Campbell River forward. We need the best community minded individuals available, from all political perspectives whose only agenda is to serve.”

The experienced campaigner hinted at a possible contentious civic election this year.

“There will no doubt be a lot of interesting discussion and rumors throughout the community between now and election day. Sadly there will also be the negative, false or exaggerated statements that serve no constructive purpose.

“I can assure you that I will make no promises I cannot keep, I will be fair, honest and forthright, and will continue to work in the best interests of Campbell River. I will lead by example.”