Former mayor Paul Reitsma is the latest person to announce he will seek the vacant city council seat in Parksville’s Oct. 22 byelection.
Reitsma was mayor of Parksville from 1987-1996. He was also Parksville-Qualicum MLA from 1996-98. He resigned from his seat in the Legislature in 1998.
In a news release issued this week, Reitsma said he is emphasizing six main points in his campaign for the city council seat: a return to basic representation, controlled slow growth, need to prepare for the biggest challenge of all — the cost of future needed infrastructure, openness and transparency — including citizens when making long-term decisions, supporting economic diversity and he said he will meet with the owners of vacant commercial lots/buildings to work together with the objective of having them developed and/or occupied.
“Taxpayers expect roads to be paved, potholes to be filled, snow to be plowed and taxes to reflect what is needed not wanted, making sure we have clean water, proper sewage disposal facilities, safe streets and sufficient policing,” Reitsma said in the release.
Reitsma said he is “an unapologetic endorser of shop locally who points to the benefits: local business means local employment and it also means sponsoring of local organizations.”
Reitsma said he has been a small business owner for more than 35 years in the hospitality/travel industry and he said he has a long history of community involvement, such as having served as a chamber of commerce vice-president, a union member, served on three Parent Advisory Committees. Reitsma said he “is known for his thorough research and relentless scrutiny for the facts” and said he has “consistently attended and questioned council during the budget meetings.”