Former principal Ruttan turns to politics

Mike Ruttan has gone from being a man who was principal to a principled man who is running for mayor in Port Alberni.

Retired Alberni District Secondary School principal Mike Ruttan is following his own advice in announcing he will run for mayor in November’s municipal election.

“I always told my students that if they want something then they should prepare themselves and go for it,” Ruttan said. “Well I’m preparing and I’m going for it.”

A cross-section of people have encouraged him to run, he said. “A lot of those people were students when I was a principal who are now grown.”

The married father of four was born and raised in Port Alberni, and his roots go back to 1939 when his family’s first descendant arrived. “I’m from Port Alberni. I’ve worked in Port Alberni. And when I retired last year I never left Port Alberni,” he said.

Ruttan has set up a Facebook page and Twitter account as a way of reaching out to voters for his candidacy

Ruttan worked as a teacher and principal in Bamfield and Port Alberni from 1979 until 2013. He was the first principal of the new ADSS on Roger Street.

Mike RuttanCommunication with council, staff and the city’s taxpayers is a cornerstone of Ruttan’s platform. “You need to communicate with people but they need to be engaged in a meaningful way first.”

Ruttan admits he lacks council experience but says he’s stayed abreast of civic politics as a citizen. He dealt with politicians as a principal, worked with a large staff and understands large budgets. “But it’s about communicating, working with people and taking care of their needs, something I’ve done throughout my career,” he said.

The city needs to live within its means and that includes city councillors, Ruttan said. “It was a mistake for council to ask taxpayers to pay more property tax while at the same time increasing their own compensation.”

Ruttan said he’s well equipped to handle any challenges to his beliefs or decisions.

“I was constantly challenged in my career. But you learn that no one has all the answers, You work with people and exchange ideas,” he said. “If being challenged creates better ideas and subsequently a stronger community then I support that.”

Diversifying the economy, increasing voter participation particularly among the youth demographic and regaining the trust of the electorate are key issues the city is facing, Ruttan said.

“The city needs someone who can pull the community together when issues arise.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

Just Posted

Crooner classics past and present in spotlight, courtesy of Ken Lavigne

Island tenor prepares for upcoming concert tour of Let Me Be Frank!

Port Alberni workers to honour Day of Mourning on April 28

Annual event honours workers who lost their lives on the job

Tseshaht First Nation athlete honoured with provincial sports award

Rain Thomas competes in three different sports

Alberni Valley firefighters pass the boot for Muscular Dystrophy

Annual fundraiser started in 1967 with Port Alberni Fire Department

Cougars spotted in Sproat Lake neighbourhoods

ACRD director warns residents to keep children, pets close

VIDEO: Alberni Valley celebrates Easter weekend

Port Alberni children enjoy Easter egg hunts and spring activities

Busy Tuesday for BC Ferries passengers

First sailings to and from Swartz Bay sold out

New commemorative loonie marking ‘progress’ for LGBTQ2 people to be unveiled today

But advocates say it mistakenly suggests equality has been achieved largely as a result of government actions

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

United Way opens grants to help charities tackle social issues

Charities north of the Malahat can apply for grants $2,000 to $20,000

Second earthquake in less than two hours strikes off Vancouver Island

The first earthquake happened at 1:27 p.m., the second at 2:44 p.m.

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Most Read