Friday, October 10, 2008

Email from Chris Munkasi - City of Victoria Candidate

I contacted Chris and asked him why he was running, here is what I got back from him:

Why I Am Running:

Running for public office is something that I have always wanted to do. My better half ran into the Mayor at a charity event this past year and after a few drinks told him that I was considering running for office and asked him to suggest a few pointers. At that point it was still a thought in my head, which quickly turned into something else. He handed my wife his business card and told her to "have him give me a call." So... We met over coffee and he convinced me that it was doable, however as I am a dark horse I am running a limited campaign. Nominations closed today and there are 38 people running for 8 positions. I am just going to go for it! He also suggested I start coming to council meetings. I have done that. The more I went to the meetings the more I realized that there was really a role that I could play. The present council has been very adversarial with the community groups, they have tried to evict one from their headquarters where they have been for over 30 years and another group learned that a park was being de-registered through an Freedom of Information Request. After learning that the park was being de-registered for the installation of a much needed homeless shelter they were given 24 hours notice of the Council vote on the decision. There has been loss of green space, one lawn bowling club was evicted from its grounds, one of the few pieces of green space in the downtown core, and its lands put up for sale for development for $10 million.

A new sewage treatment plant has been mandated for the city by the province, however it will cost $1.2 billion to install. This issue has been around for 30 years, had council taken any proactive decision it would be a fraction of that price to install. There are also road repairs, like one on Vancouver street, which has been known about for years but no decision has been taken on it. It again cost millions to repair because the damage after putting the repairs off for so long. The more I saw the more I was into the race. I would like to see a council that is fiscally responsible, but invests when needed.

I think that my previous experience with working for the Ministers, MPs and Senate will allow me to bring a lot to the table. I have been a community supporter and very civic minded for half my life. I would like to see a more consilliatory, decisive and progressive council that works with the community. I think that I have a lot to offer there.

I hope that this offers some insight and answers your questions. I will also try to send you more campaign information.
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