Cam Kos believes there’s a fraction of Whitehorse’s population whose voice isn’t being heard when it comes to municipal politics.
It’s one of the main reasons the 46-year-old manager with the Department of Highways and Public Works is running for a seat on Whitehorse city council in the upcoming municipal election.
Kos also ran in the 2012 election, receiving 916 votes.
“You hear people around town chatting about some of the (city council) decisions,” he said.
“But they don’t publicly speak up about them. I think a lot of people have lost hope that they can make a difference.
“I want to try and bring back that hope.”
For example, Kos questions the city’s decision to spend $56 million over the next three years to build two new headquarters for its staff.
He said he’s concerned about whether the city has taken enough care of the buildings it plans on tearing down.
“If we’re just going to build more and let them run down, are we learning anything from this?”
If elected, Kos also wants to tackle the issue of illegal dumping.
He believes the city should focus on cleaning up hot spots such as McIntyre Creek, where people dump kitchen appliances and bikes, he said.
“Let’s focus on that stuff rather than worrying about whether people are putting organic matter into their garbage cans.”
Last month, two city employees began looking into people’s bins to make sure residents are separating garbage from compostables. Kos said the pair would be better put to use if they were cleaning up certain areas of the city. If the tipping fees at the Whitehorse landfill were lower, Kos said, then fewer people would be taking their garbage to the Marsh Lake or Mount Lorne landfills.
“We’re not solving the problem, just diverting it,” he said.
“To me it gets to the point where we have to make the dump no cost, so let’s look at the option of having no tipping fee there.”
Tipping fees at the Whitehorse landfill increased on Feb. 1 this year, from $87 to $94 a tonne.
Originally from Saskatchewan, Kos moved to the North in 1991. He’s lived in Whitehorse for the past five years.
Kos is the manager of transportation and communications for the supply services branch of Highways and Public works. His duties include managing the government’s fleet of vehicles.
In 2011, he ran for the NDP nomination in Porter Creek Centre but lost to Jean-Francois Des Lauriers.
In the past, Kos has also held positions with Correctional Service Canada, Environment Canada and the Department of Education in the Northwest Territories.
The municipal election will take place on Oct. 15.
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