After talking with city councillors Robin Williams and Steve Payne, Mike Martin decided to run for a seat on municipal council.
In an interview with Yellowknifer, he shares his thoughts on transparency and communication, and how technology can improve those things.
Could you please introduce yourself for anyone who may not know who you are?
“I’ve been living in Yellowknife since 2009, and in the North since the beginning of 2007. I’m a GNWT employee. I also have a side business where I do commercial fishing. I enjoy the outdoors, hunting and fishing. I originally moved north on a two-year plan, and I’m now into year 16 because I fell in love with the North and I fell in love with Yellowknife. It’s home.”
What do you hope to change if you’re elected?
“I would like to have an improvement in communication to the residents from the city. I am a big advocate for transparency, and I feel that if people are aware and have an opportunity to provide their opinions and input into a topic and know what the background was that resulted in the decision, it’s a bit easier for people to understand and accept.”
Martin also described a prospective system for sending relevant information to residents.
“Active notification systems where you could sign up for a subscription after you click on your topics of interest. Then any time one of those items go before the council, there’s a news release or a public meeting, you get a notification… So not only providing information, but also delivering it.”
Why have you decided to run now?
“I had the opportunity to talk with Robin Williams and Steve Payne, both current councillors, and I wanted to get an idea of how things were going. After talking with them, I pulled the pin and said, ‘All right, let’s do this.’ I’m ready. I’m committed. I want to give back to the community, and I’m at a point in my life where I can do that.”
What are some of your must haves?
“I’d like to work towards fostering relationships with the GNWT to help initiate and support (the homeless) and to set up programs, where possible, to start addressing this issue for the betterment of everyone in the city. It might take longer than one term, but I would like to see the foundational steps in place.”
Are there any other comments you would like to add?
“If you ever see me around, feel free to come chat and express your opinions. I’m willing to listen and learn. I’ll probably ask questions back so feel free to approach me.”