Q&A with Ucluelet’s candidates for mayor

The Westerly News asked each candidate what sets them apart.

West Coast communities will vote for their next representatives in an Oct. 20 election. We asked each candidate running in Tofino and Ucluelet as well as School District 70 and Electoral Area C what they feel is the most important issue facing their community and what sets them apart from the other candidates.

Ucluelet’s candidates for mayor

Kevin Cortes

What do you feel is the most pressing election issue?

The biggest issue that is facing Ucluelet is the lack of affordable housing at multiple levels from monthly rentals or to purchase for the average wage earner and seniors. This problem is needs to be addressed. This has been a problem for decades, still has not been solved is a concern for me. Housing committees have been established with council only to lose favour with succeeding councils. We need to establish a separate housing board with an inter changeable council member for community direction This way no mater which government is voted in the board is entrenched.

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

What sets me apart from the other candidates is that I have the experience of working within the districts constructs,not just at the head of the table as a former mayor or councillor. As a contractor for the district I have been able to see how the district staff and councils operate from the inside. I know the strengths of the organization. I also have a unique vison of the community from the Harbours perspective as the Harbour manager. I manage 100’s of diverse people daily all with different concerns and wants which prepares me for a diverse council and community overall.

Bill Irving

What do you feel is the most pressing election issue?

The key issue is, how does Ucluelet transition from talking about issues into doing something about them? My priority is to quickly focus on developing a plan to resolve issues like housing and traffic, passing an action budget and working with staff and community to start dealing with these priorities. There are key priorities ahead; affordable housing, road and sidewalk upgrades, keeping and attracting business, harbor upgrades and schools, to name a few. Getting elected is just the first step. It will take hard work and leadership to get this important work done in this great place we call home.

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

Proven experience and the demonstrated ability to work with all levels of government is what Ucluelet needs.

There is a possibility that this election could find Ucluelet with 4 new council members. These will be talented, creative people who want to deal with important issues facing Ucluelet like affordable housing. The mayor you elect will be key in focusing their desire for action. I have the experience as mayor in tackling key issues. From infrastructure upgrades to fibre optics service to coast to community forest to harbour upgrades, I have led council in getting it done.

Mayco Noel

What do you feel is the most pressing election issue?

The most pressing issue to Ucluelet is keeping our community our community, by managing growth that allows our neighbourhoods to remain tranquil and family friendly, maintaining the wonderful safe community that I grew up in and ensuring future generations have the same experiences and opportunities that I had.

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

What sets me apart is that I focus on team-building. No action or direction of council can be achieved by one person. I have extensive experience working in teams.

Randy Oliwa

What do you feel is the most pressing election issue?

Although there are many other issues facing Ucluelet, the lack of housing compounds those issues. We can not continue to operate in a reactive state, we need to be proactive. I have a plan to address all levels of our housing crisis. Through my council position, my personal experience growing up in Ucluelet, and my passion for problem solving, I have been working to introduce successful housing projects from other communities to our own. As your Mayor, I would immediately re-establish the Ucluelet Housing Committee. It was extremely effective producing community-approved solutions to each unique housing situation, whether that be assisted living, staff accommodation, or a home fit for a family.

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

Our community has elected me to be their voice, three times. Throughout that entire time my commitment and dedication to my position on council only grew stronger. Ucluelet deserves a Mayor that is readily available, approachable, involved in the community, and has a solid foundation in local government. I have ten years of experience. I have an excellent record of community involvement. I’ve volunteered on several of Ucluelet’s committees and boards. And I’ve experienced Ucluelet as a renter, an employee, a homeowner, and a business owner. I know Ucluelet, and as a recent retiree I know that I have the time, energy, and passion to fully commit to being Ucluelet’s next Mayor.

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