Malkinson said he has always been interested in politics and governance since he was very young, and now that he is 18 years old, he feels a responsibility to get involved in the political process to try to make a difference in his community. He said he has been a referee in sports for the past five years, and believes that experience will help him make impartial decisions in the best interest of the city.
He said while he is generally pleased with the direction the city is heading, he does believe the next council should focus on fiscal discipline and maintaining existing assets.
“I think we should cut back on spending, manage our debt and build up our reserve cash,” he said. “I think it’s also important for the City to focus on developing and using the EnCana Events Centre, the arts centre and the airport to their fullest potential.”
Malkinson added while he is not proposing any specific or severe spending cuts, he does believe savings could be found in administrative and bureaucratic costs.
“I do think the City does spend some money unnecessarily – like $15,000 on a website. I do think our City organization is just a little too big, and I do think we could cut back bureaucratically.”
He said he is in favour of reviewing the new utility rate structure that was implemented by council at the beginning of this year.
“I think a lot of citizens were alarmed with the jump in the water rates – seeing their water rates double is alarming. How does the City suddenly realize that it is getting underpaid for the water by about half – what changes have happened in the last year or to that have caused water rates to double?”
He added while he understands the rationale behind the financial support for the Rage hockey team, he does not think it should continue any further.
“That team has to stand on its own feet, we can’t keep handing over money,” he said.
Malkinson said he supports pursuing environmental sustainability initiatives, “as long as they are fiscally manageable and responsible.”
He said while voters might view his age as inexperience, he believes governance has to be learned on the job and experience can not be claimed other than by working in public office.
Malkinson is a life-long Dawson Creek resident. He graduated from high school this past June as valedictorian of his class. He said he really enjoys learning about history, as well as economics, and while he has plans to pursue a post-secondary education, he will put those plans on hold if elected so he can focus on serving in public office. Besides refereeing, he said he has been involved in various volunteer activities through his church.
Check back with Mile 0 City all this week for more profiles of local candidates.