ELECTION 2014: Striga takes second swing at council seat

CITY OF CAMPBELL RIVER: Striga, Darryn – Councillor Candidate

Darryn Striga

Darryn Striga isn’t giving up on his pursuit of a seat at the city council table.

Striga, 31, is running for city council in the November 15 municipal election for the second time.

The last time he ran, in November 2011, Striga finished 14th out of a pool of 17 candidates, garnering 830 votes.

This time, he’s hoping for a different result.

“I was 28 when I last ran and I think people saw me as too young,” Striga said. “Now I’m a bit older and I’ve put on a few pounds.”

Striga said he’s hoping to represent the younger demographic and give young families a voice at city hall.

“We know that Ryan (Mennie) will not be standing for re-election (he recently moved to Alberta and is finishing out his council term long distance) and I think young families of Campbell River need representation on council, it’s integral,” Striga said. “I’ve spoken to Ryan and he took the mantle from Laird (Ruehlen). I want to make clear I’m different from Ryan but I still represent the younger demographic.”

And he’s familiar with the community and how the economy is trending.

He is a five-year member of the Daybreak Rotary Club, serving as president from 2013 until July 1 of this year, is vice-president of the Tidemark Theatre Society, a member of the Young Professionals group, and served on the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association. He also has a hand in one of Campbell River’s two largest projects.

Striga is currently employed by BC Hydro, specifically for the John Hart Generating Station replacement project. He’s the office manager for a group overseeing the contractors hired by Hydro to carry out the project, plus he’s serving as a record management information assistant.

While he’s aware of the importance of the Hydro project, as well as the new hospital project, Striga knows that’s not going to be enough.

“Campbell River’s in pretty good shape for the next four years but then what?” Striga said. “We need to make sure these short-term victories are turned into long-term wins. I love the (Discovery) LNG plant, that’s great, but we need a long-term plan. We certainly don’t want to put all of our eggs in one basket like we did with the mill.”

Striga said his focus, if elected, will be to find a way to retain local jobs for all of the skilled workers who call Campbell River home. He said it would be “terrible” to lose those workers once the BC Hydro and hospital projects are over.

“We need to find ways to keep them here – LNG would be good,” Striga said. “I’m optimistic, it’s moving in the right direction, but even still, we need to diversify.

“I don’t want Campbell River’s legacy to be a suburb of Fort McMurray.”

Striga said that while this year’s election is a daunting one because of the atmosphere among city council, it’s something he doesn’t want to shy away from.

“It’s plain to see there’s not a lot of camaraderie on the existing council,” Striga said. “They don’t appear to get along and that’s unfortunate. I don’t think anyone will look at this election and think that it’ll be a fun one, but I don’t think that’s a good reason not to (run).”