My name is Dan Washington and I am running for a third term on city council.
I am the co-owner of Flandangles Kitchen and Gifts and have worked in the industrial sector in Port Alberni for 40 years. Many of you know me from my 42 years in the Valley and my involvement in numerous societies, clubs and community events, as well as the boards I sit on representing the city.
Back in 1991, I was taught to be a team player. When a majority decision was made by council, I stood as part of a united front, no matter my personal beliefs. The electorate expects and deserves a strong, united council. The council was expected to get to know each other as individuals and learn to work together.
In this regard, my last two terms on council have not been easy ones and I have tried my best to get things done despite what has gone on around me. I have stood up for fellow councillors, asked difficult questions behind closed doors and made my decisions based on what I thought was best for my community.
Every single time that a constituent has come to me with a concern, I have brought it to the city and worked it through to its conclusion.
I believe strongly in our history and our heritage and that we must continue to preserve it. We need to learn from our past in order to make educated decisions for our future.
Communities outside of our city boundaries have to start participating in the cost of rebuilding some of our aging infrastructure that they use.
We need to work hard to keep taxation low, not just for our seniors or young families, but for everyone. With every budget that we have worked on, I tried to ask questions that would make us think about potential cost savings. We should work with our staff who face these challenges daily to come up with reasonable solutions.
We need to help those in our community who do not seem to be able to help themselves. We need low cost housing and mental health facilities. But I would also like to see tougher jail sentences for those who are “known to the police” and hardened criminals.
We need economic growth and diversification. This is not going to come from “big” business. We need to focus on small- to medium-sized businesses so that they are not forced to close or move.
We live in a veritable paradise. Just look outside your doors. We need to make our city as beautiful inside our boundaries as it is outside.
A strong sense of community gives me the insight into what makes a healthy, vibrant and sustainable community.