It’s time to stir the pot, Scott Nelson said Thursday as he announced his intention to run for city council.
Rumours had suggested the former mayor and city councillor would seek the mayor’s seat, however, Nelson confirmed he has decided to run for councillor.
“Williams Lake is my hometown and I believe there are huge opportunities,” he told the Weekend Advisor. “I think we can do much better than what’s happened in the last five years and focus on making it the best place to live, work and play.”
A huge supporter of economic growth, and business owner, Nelson said he can see future opportunities in forestry, mining and agriculture for Williams Lake.
“We need to work as a community and region to provide assistance to get Mount Polley in full operation again,” he said. “That’s 350 full-time jobs for First Nations and non-First Nations.”
He also wants to see Thompson Rivers University expand its Williams Lake offerings and said the city should encourage the province to put more trades, skills, seats and money to enhance programming.
Scott said tax incentives, encouraging existing expansion and new business are all ways to help revitalize the downtown core.
“I’m also for lowering taxes,” he added. “You generate revenue by encouraging more local economic development.”
In five years the city has gone from $25 million a year in economic growth to less than $5 million, Nelson said.
“There’s been a dramatic decline in investment.”
If elected he said he will push to have more funds go toward the prolific offender program, something he pushed for when he was last on council.
“The program is so important for this region. I would want to put more city dollars there,” he said.
Nelson said he’s received a lot of positive encouragement from people in the community to re-run in 2014.
“The community is very nervous about what’s been going on,” he suggested. “Too much energy has gone into playing rather than pursuing investment.”
Previously Nelson served nine years as a councillor and three years as mayor.
In 2011 Scott ran for mayor against incumbent Mayor Kerry Cook and Walt Cobb.