Speech from the Comox All Candidates Meeting

by Russ Arnott

Hi…I’m Russ Arnott and I am asking for your support to be the next mayor of Comox.

I don’t ask this lightly. I believe I have proven myself to the community as a strong, experienced and committed elected representative for 7 years. I’ve been a board member or volunteer for many groups such as YANA, Salvation Army, Community Justice Centre, the downtown BIA and as a proud Rotarian. Rotary states service above self in its 4-way test and that is what defines my desire to take this next step as your mayor.

As someone who gets out in the community tending to these various roles I am able to interact with many residents of Comox and the Valley as a whole. I hear their stories, I can offer assistance and then I take this information to the council table with me to help in my decision making responsibility. It’s important not to work in isolation but to be out in our community and to be a part of our community.

As mayor I will have the knowledge and desire to move us forward. I am familiar with the structure, the parts that make it move and have the skill to keep our momentum going.

There are a lot of new people interested in serving on council and that is what makes this an exciting election. We have two incumbents and seven new comers running for elected office. No matter the results on election night, this will be a big change on our town council. As your new mayor I will offer stability and experience as the group comes together to keep moving Comox forward. I’ve had a chance to talk with most of the candidates for council and the general consensus is that we are moving in the right direction.

Four years ago we saw Comox missing the energy to engage its residents. We missed some of the social interaction the town previously had. We needed to continue the push for a better Comox.

Those seeds had been planted and they’re starting to sprout! Soon we will have brew pubs to socialize in, some new businesses to shop in and families have been enjoying our very popular marina enhancements such as the splash park and the food vendors.

Comox is changing but we’re still that charming Town we have all come to love and it will grow in a way that maintains and enhances community liveability. The improvements to our downtown core have made it even more appealing.

We have growth, but it is balanced growth. We have an official community plan that is owned by the residents of Comox and steers us to the future, this important plan was built from the bottom up by you and was adopted in July 2011. To date we have had only three amendments to it. Two for the protection of eagle nests and one for coach houses. This tells me its working; however, as a living document we will review it and collectively make it a better road map to our future.

Comox council has acknowledged the affordable housing concerns facing our community. We have streamlined the process to build secondary suites cutting away much of the red tape. We have recently approved 89 apartment rentals. We work with developers under the Town’s Housing Affordability Strategy where the town looks for a 10% land or cash-in-lieu contribution. We direct these funds to the coalition to end homelessness to help where they see fit.

All in all Comox has much to be proud of. We are debt free and we are one of the safest communities in BC. We will continue to build on our successes, we will review what we did right and where we can improve.

Our strength comes from community engagement and public consultation – as mayor I will lead this over the next four years. I look forward to serving you as mayor and ask for your support on Saturday October 20th.

For more information look me up at russarnott.com

Vote October 20th

Comox Community Centre
1855 Noel Avenue.
8am to 8pm