The number of mayoral candidates in the Sept. 30 Kamloops by-election is back up to four with the announcement today (Aug. 15, 2017) that business owner Bill McQuarrie is entering the race.
McQuarrie, who also writes a column on civic issues for ArmchairMayor.ca and CFJC Today, joins former councilor Ken Christian, retiree Reo Rocheleau and paramedic Todd Mcleod in seeking the mayor’s chair. Dr. Cynthia Ross Friedman was forced by family illness to drop out last week.
McQuarrie called for “a new way of thinking at City Hall” that includes “a total change in the attitude that underlles our taxation and budget planning systems.”
He proposes a zero per cent increase in property taxes for 2018.
“It is time that we stop asking the taxpayer, both residential and business, to solve the spending problems of the city,” McQuarrie said in a press release.
“Like many taxpayers, I am frustrated with what has become the accepted norm of regular tax increases of 2.5 per cent every year.”
“If elected mayor, I will immediately abolish the concept of treating tax increases as an entitlement the City expects year after year.”
He blasted what he called “a lack of respect” for taxpayers and a failure to recognized them as stakeholders.
McQuarrie stressed that a zero-per-cent tax hike doesn’t have to mean reductions in service.
“What it really means is finding ways to put a greater emphasis on effectively managing expenditures. Please keep in mind, we are not the first city to do this and we don’t have to look any further than, Williams Lake or Nanaimo for examples. It’s not rocket science.”
He said the key is to focus on delivering quality services and programs while eliminating costs that don’t have a direct benefit to residents.
Nominations for the by-election open today (Aug. 15, 2017) and close Aug. 25.