The municipal election is more than seven months away, but the race for Parksville mayor is on with a second candidate declaring his intention to run.
Current councillor Bill Neufeld declared his intention to run in October of 2012 — less than a year into his first term on council — and has now been joined by Antonio Farinha, who ran in 2011.
“I’m running to tell people about the issues on the beach and at Surfside,” Farinha said of his campaign’s focus.
When he ran for mayor in 2011 Farinha told people not to vote for him. He said at the time he was just trying to get his message out. This time he said he will actually be running to win the mayor’s job.
If he wins, the only issue on his plate will be to spread the word about what he sees as a conspiracy involving all levels of government, police and numerous individuals, to allow people to live on formerly public land on Parksville beach.
“I have written to every single government minister, (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper, the governor general — I even wrote to Hugo Chavez before he died to ask for money for lawyers,” Farinha said, explaining that he wants a full-scale investigation launched into the “past, present and future of what’s going on down there on the beach.”
Farinha has been in the area since 1965 and has owned a house in Parksville since 1984 and he said he is concerned about many issues around the history of the resort property and a retaining wall built along the waterfront.
Farinha was popular in the 2011 election forums and public events, often getting the biggest laughs, but he only received 51 votes.
Although he made it clear his campaign will be “just about (the beachfront)” he did add that his platform would include starting an international school to teach people about the law — without the involvement of lawyers — to empower them to fight white collar crime and political corruption. He would also stop work on the water treatment plant and infrastructure upgrades and push for a fair wage for everyone in the city, pegging that around $17.50 an hour.
While he said he likes current mayor Chris Burger, Farinha said he doesn’t think anyone should stay in office too long and it might be time for a change.
Burger has not yet announced his intentions regarding the November civic elections.