The former editor of the Revelstoke Times Review announced he is running for council.
“This community and the City of Revelstoke have many issues — a stagnant economy, many major infrastructure challenges and a ballooning debt, for example — and I believe we need to involve all Revelstokians in finding innovative solutions,” he wrote.
Since the announcement, he has been posting platform updates daily covering issues ranging from development cost charges (DCCs) to resource planning.
“I have a lot of experience. I’ve been going (to council) for six years. I understand the issues and I understand the cycle,” he told the Times Review in an interview on Sunday. “I’m really looking to being part of a team that forms the new council and works together to chart a new direction.”
Orlando brought up several issues he hopes to address as a councillor. First is communication. He wants to be part of a council that lays out a clear path that is understood by the community, business and city staff.
“We really need to chart a new path,” he said. We need to say, ‘Here’s where we’re going,’ so that the community knows where were going, the businesses know where we’re going and city staff knows where they’re going on.”
The second major issue he brought up is economic development, which he said is essential to growing Revelstoke’s population. “We need to look at everything we can put on the table to move the community forward economically,” he said.
Some ideas he raised were lowering DCCs to encourage new home building, bringing the ratio of business and residential taxes in line with the provincial average (currently Revelstoke has one of the highest ratios in the province), and coming up with incentives to attract new businesses or encourage existing ones to expand.
“Any kind of new long-term business or existing business that generates economic activity — let’s get out the message we’re open for business,” he said.
He added he’s not in favour of cuts at city hall if it could hurt the community. For example, if more staff are needed to help move through development permits, then council should look at that.
“I’m here to grow the economy, not cut our way out of it,” he said. “I don’t think an aggressive austerity program is going to work. It’s going to put people out of good jobs. We’re here to work smarter, work better.”
Orlando served as editor of the Times Review from 2008 to April 2014. He was perhaps best known for his extensive coverage of council and dogged pursuit of city issues. He is also on the board of the Columbia Valley Skateboard Association, which has been working to build a new skateboard park in Revelstoke.
Since leaving his post at the paper he has been doing freelance work.