George Gates steps up with bid for North Cowichan council seat

This will be the first time George Gates has run for councillor in North Cowichan but he’s certainly not an unknown face around the Valley.

"I’ve been involved with the Chamber of Commerce for eight years and worked my way through director, vice president, president and now past president," said the proprietor of three local businesses. He’s raised two kids through elementary and high school as well.

"But now that the kids are sort of flying the coop and I’ve done my tour of Chamber duty I think it’s time to move up. Some people might not say it was more putting a target on my back," he said.

Gates wants to bring a can-do attitude to council.

"I’m not going to re-invent the wheel; I just want to make sure the tire’s not flat," he said.

He’s definitely not a member of any taxbusting group.

"I don’t think our taxes should be lower. Based on others around B.C., ours aren’t extraordinary. I don’t think we should be paying more but basically I think we have what we have and live where we live because we pay fair taxes. My only question would be, okay, how are we spending them?" Gates is behind doing a study for amalgamation and wants to see "better control and firmer management on our water supply."

Where he thinks council runs aground occasionally is when they flip-flop on decisions.

"I’m of two minds about public consultation. I find it very frustrating that we can’t make things happen because of going back to the table on a continuous basis."

It’s about getting the facts first, he said. "Once we have all of the input, we need to make a decision and get on with the day."