Coun. Hira Chopra has announced that he is running for mayor at the Nov. 15 municipal elections.
According to Chopra, his 18 years on city council and seven years as Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District Chairperson have given him the experience he believes is necessary to lead the city.
If elected, Chopra said that he would work with city council to freeze residential tax rates for the next two years.
“There has been lots of tax increases and there’s too many expenses,” said Chopra, adding that although residential tax hikes are not an option for the next couple of years, he’s “not saying that service will be cut or people will be laid off, we’re looking for other revenue sources.”
He also spoke out against the conflicts that have plagued the mayor and city council in recent years.
“The mayor has a job; to convince other people to work together… I have business experience, I have union experience, I can see as an employer and as a worker how to work together.”
In addition to keeping expenses down, Chopra said he would work to attract jobs to the community.
“I’m looking for job, jobs, jobs” for this city, he said, citing the Steelhead LNG proposal for a facility at Sarita Bay as one option to add employment opportunities for people in the city.
“We’re trying to work with the First Nations and other levels of government to make this happen so our youth can stay in town.”
Chopra said that to “make the community livable, we have to look after the safety of the people, the seniors, the education,” adding that “all those things will come along if we have a vision.”