After two terms as a city Councillor

After two terms as a city Councillor

Ambler provides Courtenay electorate with a choice

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  • Oct. 15, 2014 12:00 p.m.

Submitted

 

 

Jon Ambler is running for Mayor: an IDEAL candidate.

My leadership experience around numerous board and council tables, and in the Air Force, shows I can create an effective municipal leadership team, one that can tackle the issues and get things done. Many consider me an IDEAL candidate: a combination of integrity, dedication, experience, accountability and leadership.

Integrity is doing the right thing, no matter what. City business must be conducted in the public eye, with only rare exceptions allowed by law. I will never conduct Courtenay business in coffee shops and backrooms. Under my leadership, council will welcome engaged citizens, service clubs, and those organizations that help our more vulnerable citizens. We must, however, be careful to engage on issues that are within the city’s authority, or within our ability to effectively influence. Finally, integrity means I cannot and will not break an oath or a law in order to avoid accountability on a tough issue.

Dedication amounts to serving your community ahead of yourself. My late decision to enter the race was sparked by attendance at the recent Courtenay Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. All those volunteers, giving so much to our community, reminded me that my duty is not yet done. I hope to continue my dedicated efforts in the service of my community, working hard to look after the interests of every citizen. Those interests must be met fairly, and fairness comes from consistent application of the rules: no favourites, no special consideration, just the same rules for everyone.

Experience in the Air Force, in particular on operations and peacekeeping, and six years of experience on council, enables me to quickly identify solutions. The current mayor wanted more “citizen involvement in the budget”, basically “advisors” to tell council how to handle taxpayers’ money. His idea was defeated based on his failure to identify the problem and concerns about cronyism. My reaction followed swiftly: to get citizen involvement I had staff introduce Citizen Budget, a low-cost online tool that enables all citizens to provide feedback on budget priorities.

Accountability is holding yourself responsible for the outcome of your actions, not blaming others. As the new president of North Island 911, I held myself accountable for providing excellent service at a sustainable price. Dismayed at the rising cost, I had a detailed “options analysis” conducted: it showed the program was becoming unaffordable. So, we secured a new provider, reduced our five-year bill from $3.7 million to just over $2 million, and improved service!

Leadership. Being a mayor is all about leadership: forming teams, establishing goals and getting results. If elected, I would turn council into an effective team that can work together to achieve our shared goals.

A leader must also build relationships: I would reach out to Comox, Cumberland, the electoral areas and the K’ómoks First Nation. The mayors and the CVRD chair used to meet monthly but the mayor stopped attending, damaging those relationships. I can rebuild them.

Democracy is having a voice and a choice: please get out and vote and choose what is best for our city.

You now have a choice.

 

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