A seventh Surrey mayoral candidate has thrown his hat in the ring.
Longtime Surrey resident John Wolanski announced his candidacy this week and is running as an independent.
Wolanski ran as a council candidate in the 2002, 2008 and 2011 and as a mayoral hopeful in 2014.
“Michael Jordan said it best, you miss 100 per cent of the shots you don’t take,” he told the Now-Leader when asked what motivated him to seek the mayor’s chair once more.
And, he says he will be his own biggest financial contributor to his campaign.
“I put my own money on the table, and people respond to that,” said Wolanski, whose background includes freelancing in the newspaper business, and “promotions” arena, according to his bio.
The Cloverdale resident said Surrey’s council must “look at people first,” and “we’ve had business taking over the government decisions.”
“We need to take a step back, take a breath and see where we want to go with things.”
Wolanski calls for a change in B.C.-wide change in civic elections that he says would mean “no more toeing the party line.”
“One vote for mayor, you only have one vote per councillor and one per school trustee,” he said of his idea, which would not change the number of elected officials, only how they become elected. “So what you’re going to do is break up the party monopoly. Most of these guys are running a slate to control council. I want a democracy.”
In his platform, outlined at johnwolanski.ca, he vows to lobby senior governments for more affordable housing alternatives.
“People are feeling the (housing) stress,” he said. “It’s an economic warfare thing, and I’m just going to be hammering on the senior levels of government. We’re going to fix this one way or another.”
Wolanski also promises to say adamantly oppose mobility pricing. When it comes to public safety, Wolanski wants to either move toward a Metro Vancouver wide police force or keep the RCMP if that can’t be achieved.
“To break that (RCMP contract) up in the middle, and put a new police force in… we’d end up with nothing left to pay for potholes. The RCMP will demand compensation,” he told the Now-Leader. “And with a police force, there could be possible interference from the mayor’s office. From the RCMP, they have a hand’s length thing where you can’t interfere.”
As for transit, he supports SkyTrain along Fraser Highway, and says the Surrey light rail project that’s in process would have to be completed.
“This is a game-changing election,” stated Wolanski. “I realize I have to go for it now. That’s the deal.”
Others running for mayor in the Oct. 20 Surrey election include Surrey First’s Tom Gill, Integrity Now’s Bruce Hayne (formerly of Surrey First), former Surrey mayor Doug McCallum with his Safe Surrey Coalition, Pauline Greaves of Proudly Surrey, People First Surrey’s Rajesh Jayaprakash and independent Imtiaz Popat.
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