RDCK Election 2011: Three issues galvanized Mike Keegan to enter Area F race
By Mike Keegan
My name is Mike Keegan and I was born and raised in Nelson graduating from LV Rogers High School in 1970.
How long have you lived in the regional district?
I have spent all but three years after graduation living in the Nelson area, working at various career paths from starting at a young age in hotel management, to greens keeping, parts and service management, vehicle sales and in the late 90’s was the project coordinator for the Osprey 2000 ferry project.
What do you do for a living?
I am currently semi-retired working on contract for various local companies. My main hobby is restoring muscle cars and classic vehicles which I have done with great vigour over the past 10 years.
Do you have any political or other organizational experience?
I think my greatest accomplishment to date would have to be the Queen City Cruise car show, of which I am currently the chair and have been since its inception 10 years ago.
I am also the president of the Nelson Road Kings Car Club and have held that position for the past eight years. The show is highly innovative, popular and boast’s a zero debt and is also able to support three high school scholarships plus many other charitable contributions and is still profitable to date.
My wife Pat and I have been happily married for 34 years and our home for the past 34 years is on Nelson’s North Shore where we raised our daughter Michelle.
What made you personally decide to run?
I have seen many changes to the Nelson area, some good and some not so good. At this moment it is of great concern the direction the RDCK is taking. By running for area F director I hope to keep a tight line on spending with fiscal responsibility and public input being foremost.
What did you see happening in your area that made you want to become involved in regional district politics?
The platform I am running on includes three main topics. The first and most important is the fact that the taxes in area F over the past three years have increased an astounding 40 per cent.
Not to mention our 911 rates increasing to a ridiculous 67 per cent in the last year alone. This increase says to me that something is very wrong with our current system of taxation and there is a total lack of consideration for the people of area F.
It’s hard enough for a seasoned working couple to keep up with this kind of increase but what about seniors, pensioners, young families with small children and persons on a fixed income?
At this rate only the wealthy will be able to afford to live in area F. I pledge to hold the line on taxes in our area by using a common sense approach in order to satisfy all income levels living in area F.
The second topic that I would like to touch on is recently there have been too many new services either created or expanded without consultation with the general public. It will be my resolve that any major decisions be subject to full disclosure to area F taxpayers.
The problems the RDCK is having right now over the newly announced refuse transfer station is an example of how our cities largest employer was treated during this process. I am positive we haven’t heard the end of this yet. If there had been a more open government at the time we wouldn’t have these problems in the first place.
The third topic is a multiple one. First we need to reassess the growing bureaucracy of the RDCK and find out why we have such a large jump in employees in recent years. I also need to delve into the vacation rental market and reassess the way they are licensed and administered.
We have many well run vacation rentals with little or no complaints, but I am also told we have vacation rentals that are a plague on the entire neighbourhoods. These are the units that need to be addressed and regulated as I am sure no one in any area wants a party house next door.
- On November 19 when you go to make your mark on the ballot, remember Mike Keegan will be working for a better and sustainable future for the residents of Area F.