Businessman Kevin Wright has thrown his hat in the ring for the mayor’s seat in the November 2014 municipal election.
And he says while he knows his decision to skip a council seat and vie for the mayor’s job won’t be popular with some people, he feels he’s best suited for it.
“I feel that the mayor’s role differs from the council’s role in that he or she should be focusing on the face of the city. The marketing and branding as well as hosting potential investors,” said Wright, who owns SteamPunk Café and Coffee House and is an internationally renowned potter.
“I speak well and I have a lot of innovative ideas and can inspire people to do more.
“I believe the mayor should speak for council even if you don’t agree with it. A united front shows the community co-operation and makes them feel comfortable. If you can’t convince (council) in camera…then you have to be objective and find out why they’re not voting in that direction.”
This is not Wright’s first foray into municipal politics. He ran for a council seat in 2011, but was defeated. He feels he’ll have a more successful campaign this time.
“I was new to the community at the time,” he said. “I knocked on some 600 doors and almost everybody I knocked on the front door I got votes from.”
Since then he closed his internationally renowned Braemar Pottery business in Hilliers and opened SteamPunk Café and Coffee House on Third Avenue. He has spearheaded a campaign to bring more public art to Port Alberni, as well as advocated to improve the uptown area.
“This year I have a lot more people interested in me as a member of the community. There’s more people coming out of the woodwork.”
Wright is running on a platform of “business and community building with a strong emphasis on fiscal responsibility, tax reduction and marketing,” he said.
As with other candidates who have already declared their intention to run for Port Alberni council, Wright has created a Facebook page stating his platform.
Candidates cannot submit their official nomination papers until 40 days before the election, which will be Nov. 15.