Former Duncan councillor Martin Barker is looking to replace retiring Mayor Phil Kent in next month’s municipal elections.
Barker, who operates a chiropractic and wellness practice in Duncan, served as a city councillor from 2011-14.
So far, only Cowichan Bay’s Daniel Helmer and Barker have tossed their hats in the ring to replace Kent as mayor of Duncan in the election, which will be held on Oct. 20.
Barker said the city is going to be facing some important issues in the near future, ranging from increased policing costs when its population exceeds 5,000, and the significant tax increase that will entail, decaying infrastructure, and pressures on businesses to move from the core, among many others.
“I am very excited to announce my campaign to become the mayor of Duncan,” Barker said.
“I anticipate that some good candidates will step forward and begin a vigorous debate on the issues facing the city.”
Barker said that as mayor, he would work hard to keep Duncan safe, affordable and environmentally responsible.
He said that while the citizens of Duncan need to have empathy for those suffering from drug addictions, consideration of the impacts on the community is also required.
“There needs to be some sort of program to reduce discarded needles in our city and the crime that tends to follow addiction,” Barker said.
As for affordability, Barker said everything is getting more expensive and many people can no longer afford Duncan rentals.
“Let’s make secondary suites more affordable and less intimidating for residents to build,” he said.
“Let’s also be sure that we are getting the most out of our limited tax dollars by making sound common sense decisions and focus on issues that effect Duncanites directly.”
Barker said Duncan has always wanted to be the greenest city in B.C.
“That wish needs to be respected,” he said.
“Let’s make sure our decisions make a global impact on climate change and are not pointless pandering or making our residents poor. We can just make good common sense decisions.”
Barker said residents of Duncan need to elect “vested” people onto council; either residents or taxpayers.
He said Duncan’s council currently consists of just one resident and one taxpayer, while he lives, runs a business and is a landlord in Duncan.
“It is not fair to the voter for decisions to be made in our community by people who will not feel the pain of their decisions,” he said.