Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article appeared in the March issue of the Squamish Reporter
By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: March 13, 2014
Ron Bahm has a promise for Squamish voters: He is running again to be the mayor of Squamish and this time he won’t drop out.
“Do you ever see the Mayor of Squamish talking to people on the street.” Ron Bahm
In an interview with the Reporter, Ron Bahm announced his candidacy for mayor with a resolute promise.
“I have what it takes to be the mayor and this time, I will see it to the end,” he said.
In 2009, Bahm dropped out of a triangular mayoral race to support Auli Parvianinen five days before the election.
Bahm said he realised he and Parvianinen shared a common vision and it was best for him to support her.
He also refuted rumour that he had accepted money from someone to step down.
“Absolutely not…that would have infuriated me,” he said.
An auto shop owner by profession, Bahm is a familiar name for political aficionados in Squamish.
He ran for mayor in 2002 and finished third behind Ian Sutherland and Paul Lalli.
He also contested for councilor in the 2008 council elections and landed on the 16 out of 17 candidates that contested.
Bahm said he feels he has the leadership qualities necessary to be the people’s mayor.
There is disconnect between the local government and ordinary people in Squamish, he said.
“Do you ever see the Mayor of Squamish talking to people on the street,” he asked.
Taxes and over spending at municipal halls will be a focal point of his election campaign.
“Our taxes keep going up and up, I don’t see anyone looking out for cost savings,” he said.
If elected, Bahm said he would take a good, hard look at district expenses to find savings.
On SODC, he said the ‘damage’ was already done, but as mayor he would find out how much was paid to consultant and release the numbers to the public.
Consultant spending, he added, also needs to be controlled at the district, along with money spent one economic development.
Reacting to the recent interview in the Reporter with the EDO Dan McRae, Bahm said the EDO should have been specific with the number of investors he bought to town.
“Why was he wishy-washy on what the economic development department has done so far,” Bahm said.
On Woodfibre LNG project, Bahm is concerned about the pipeline going into the estuary.
But he is supportive of the project, hopeful that it will bring much needed jobs and taxes to the community.
He has decidedly different views on Garibaldi at Squamish (GAS), a project he says may end up costing the tax payers more money in services.
Drug use by youth, day care availability and lack of jobs are some of the other issues he wants to tackle.