Being mayor has been “a bit of a dream job” for Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog, and he’s hoping to hold on to that job for another four years.
Krog, at a press conference at Sway’ A’ Lana Lagoon on Tuesday, Aug. 30, announced that he is seeking re-election in this fall’s local government election.
Krog, who became mayor in 2018 after winning in a landslide, said he made up his mind “some months ago” that he would run again.
Coming from more polarized provincial politics, he’s appreciated the switch to public service at the municipal level.
“I’ve frankly enjoyed it,” Krog said. “I get to sleep in my own bed every night, I get to see the citizens of my community every day, I get to hear their criticism, I get to hear their compliments on occasion.”
He said he’s worked with “a very good council” and hasn’t had to face some of the challenges that his predecessor faced in council chambers, and said he’s proud of what the city’s accomplished the past four years.
Many of his remarks at Tuesday’s press conference were devoted to acknowledging the social problems on the city’s streets and assuring that council will try to ensure public order as best it can.
“We still face – and I’m not going to ignore – the same crisis that is apparent across this country, which is on the lips of every voter I talk to and that is the mental health, addictions, trauma and brain injury crisis that confronts every urban centre of any size in this country,” Krog said. “It is a national crisis, it is certainly a provincial crisis and it is a real issue here in our city.”
Asked if this election campaign will have a different tone, Krog said four years ago citizens seemed to want not only good governance, but change itself and a clean sweep of council. However this campaign unfolds, the mayor said he would like to see good voter turnout.
“We need to take this responsibility seriously. And it’s not just to give you the avenue to complain…” he said. “I’m hoping Nanaimo will be an example of what a town does whether the citizens are happy or unhappy about the current councillors, that they’ll actually get out and vote. It’s not that hard.”
The local government election is Oct. 15.