Computer engineer Damir Wallener is the second candidate officially vying for North Cowichan’s mayor’s chair.

Computer engineer Damir Wallener is the second candidate officially vying for North Cowichan’s mayor’s chair.

Wallener wants to be mayor

Damir Wallener has announced he is running for mayor of North Cowichan

Damir Wallener is the second candidate officially vying for North Cowichan’s mayor’s chair in B.C.’s Nov. 15 civic election,

His announcement Friday, Aug. 7 puts computer engineer Wallener in the mayoral race with current councillor John Koury.

Mayor Jon Lefebure reconfirmed with the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial that he’s still on the fence about seeking another term until mulling options with his family during summer holidays.

Wallener ran as the local B.C. Conservative in the 2013 election.

But he told the News Leader “there is also the issue that there are no parties at the municipal level.”

“That means I can advocate for what I believe is right, without worrying about party and policy restrictions decided elsewhere,” he explained. “There is a tremendous freedom in that, because it allows me to talk to everyone, regardless of political persuasion, and use the best ideas no matter where or whom they come from.”

Wallener’s press release outlines his core principles of ensuring “the future vitality and prosperity of our very special region of B.C.”

Those include an appreciation that not all development is equal, and that we must emphasize those that genuinely move us forward economically; an understanding that our natural beauty is our strongest physical asset, and the most powerful lure we have for visitors and new businesses; an approach to municipal spending that recognizes fiscal prudence as a key element of sustainability; recognition North Cowichan and the CVRD are partners in a larger community, and “neither one of us can prosper unless we both prosper;” and acceptance elders and seniors are a vital part of our communities, and that we all benefit when we integrate with each other.

Wallener’s former company developed high-performance appliances for financial markets. His current company, SmartFork, has developed special eating utensils.

His family raises heritage-breed pigs and chickens, while maintaining ties to local homeschooling and special education communities, as well as volunteering for Cowichan Search & Rescue.

He’s “especially interested in ways of improving our valley’s economic vitality without sacrificing a clean world for his children.”