Six years after Kirk Cameron resigned from Whitehorse city council over the firing of two top administrators, he is hoping to return to chambers.
Cameron is among 17 candidates running for six councillor positions in the Oct. 21 municipal election.
In 2011, Cameron was elected first to council in a byelection. He was reelected to the position in the general election of 2012, but resigned in March 2015 after then-city manager Christine Smith fired long-time civil servants Robert Fendrick and Brian Crist. Fendrick, who was director of corporate services, had been with the city for 16 years, while Crist, who was director of infrastructure and operations, had been with the city for 17 years.
Fendrick would go on to run and win a councillor’s seat in the October 2015 election with council later firing Smith in 2017. Fendrick did not run again.
In a Sept. 27 interview, Cameron said there’s now a number of things happening in the city he wants to be involved with.
When he saw a number of councillors would not be running or would be competing for the mayor’s seat (in the cases of councillors Laura Cabott and Samson Hartland), he felt his previous experience on council could be useful. He also pointed to his career experience, most recently working as a consultant with other governments — federal, territorial and First Nations — as an asset to serving on council.
“It’s a place I’m passionate about,” he said of his hometown.
With work on an updated Official Community Plan underway, Cameron said that will set the vision for the city in the years ahead.
“(OCPs) are incredibly important,” he said.
Cameron would also like to work on what he called better “alignment” on issues, looking at matters from a variety of perspectives to come up with solutions that work for all.
Looking at the possibility of another bridge into Riverdale, for example, Cameron argued the need will be there from a variety of perspectives, whether it’s city growth, both vehicle and active transportation and more.
His platform (www.kirkcameron2021.com) also calls for smart development, developing the downtown in new ways, stronger relationships with other governments and a potential charter that more fully recognizes Whitehorse as the territory’s capital.
He pointed out Whitehorse is the hub of transportation in the territory and plays a major role in the territory’s economy.
“We want to recognize what we are as a city,” Cameron said.
He noted other capital cities in the country have such charters and it could help guide the city in considering possibilities like four-year council terms rather than the current three-year term; a ward system and more.
Cameron stressed that while he believes the city should look at such possibilities, he wouldn’t necessarily favour them all. As with many issues, Cameron said extensive consultation would help determine what direction the city should take.
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