Rommel Silverio, a two-term city councillor, is a proponent of land development and hopes to implement the hotel levy if he is elected for another term.
Could you please introduce yourself for anyone who may not know who you are?
“I am a second-term city councillor. This is my third run for city council. I’ve been in the North since 1998. I’m heading to my 25th year anniversary staying in Yellowknife from the Philippines. I am a registered nurse in charge at the YK Primary Care Clinic. I work at Stanton Hospital as well as a patient care coordinator. I got my nursing (degree) here at Aurora College.
“We also have a business here. I helped my mom with our family business, established in 2001. My immediate family is here (in Yellowknife): my brother, my mom and myself. (My brother and I) raised our families here. All of our kids were born and raised in Yellowknife.”
What do you hope to change if you’re re-elected?
“The reason why I’m running again has to do with our economic development here. (The next) four years will be very crucial for city council — the diversification of the economy, where we want to make sure that with the impending closures of mines, Yellowknife will still make a bit of a revenue.
“(The Yellowknife Artist Run Community Centre), when they had the forum, it was very good timing when they were bringing that up. It’s a good addition, the arts with the tourism, so then we can actually do the hotel levy. That’s the main thing I want to do. (I also plan to) push for land development and land transfers so that we can have land to sell for businesses that need to develop.”
Why have you chosen to run now?
“Every time I run, I think I’m the only one that is an immigrant. I do represent most of the immigrants. I have that connection where I can understand what (the immigrant) population needs, and represent it in the council. Immigrants, when they come here, the only thing they need is a place to stay and work. That’s what we do.
“It would be nice for the city to really consider attracting new residents, that way, our tax base will increase… I want to focus on that. Maybe this time, we need to make a plan on how to attract new residents to come to stay here.”
What are some of your must haves?
“When I ran the first time, I was very idealistic. I was (advocating for) zero tax increase. (What I have learned in my) seven years of experience (is that) you cannot really do that. You have to have a bit of a tax in order for the city to provide their core services.”
“I want to make sure that it’s within the capability of people to pay the taxes. I’m not really (for) high taxes but I’m (also not for) the low side. I’m always in the middle, where everyone can function.
Second, (is to) push for more land development. Third, would be ideas where we can invite new residents here. In the past, administration had so many wishes on a list. I think we need to focus on things that (are easily) achievable. You can promise a lot, but it’s one thing to say, and it’s another thing to do.
Are there any other comments that you would like to add?
Just that I’m hoping that Yellowknife will give me another chance to serve them for the next four years.