Hello, my name is Murray Presley and I have put my name into the running for councillor in the City of Courtenay.
By way of background, I served for five terms as a Courtenay councillor between 1996 and 2011. I am a recently retired chartered professional accountant, having worked in the Comox Valley for the past 50 years.
My previous background in business gives me a great background to help steer the City’s future in a cost-efficient manner.
I have lived in the Comox Valley since 1961 and I am married with two grown children and four beautiful grandchildren.
Giving back to the community has been a high priority in the past leading to my being a treasurer/director of the United Way, Comox Valley Mental Health Association, founding director/treasurer of the Comox Valley Community Foundation and past director/president of Comox Valley Economic Development Society and the Comox Rotary Club. I was named the 1997 BC Chartered Accountant of the year. I received the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce Professional Merit award in 1997 and the Presidential Merit Award for community service in 2013.
Now that I have retired and have more time available I have decided to run again for Courtenay council. I have been disillusioned with the free spending and lack of accountability of the last council, which appears to be split on ideological grounds. In my opinion a lack of well thought out policy-making by the past council has forced staff to determine policy. City staff should only be Implementing policy not determining policy.
My main focus on council will be the reducing or at the very least minimizing future property tax increases. I believe that efficient local government can still provide the basic services that we need but in a cost-effective manner. We need to reduce those costs of government and this will require something other than continuing doing things the way we have done them in the past. I would want the new council to concentrate on the 2019 budget as soon as elected. What activities the City should be involved in and how do we provide those activities in the most cost efficient manner.
In summary I believe I have the financial background, I have the proven commitment to the community and now I have the additional time to do the best job I can to represent you on council.