Gary Paller knows about movie magic, and the former special effects man is asking the voters of Pitt Meadows to give him a chance to transform their tax bill.
Paller’s name will be on the ballot for mayor on Nov. 15.
He worked as a professional firefighter, and had a special effects business for 30 years.
The mayoralty candidate has lived in Pitt Meadows for 16 years, and says through most of those he has been shaking his head at the wasteful spending at city hall.
“I’ve been appalled, for 15 years, at what goes on.”
Paller said municipalities across the country spend money as if there is an endless supply.
“The bureaucracy is out of control. It’s out of control everywhere, but I can help here.”
Having worked on motion pictures with $200 million budgets that require detailed planning and execution, Paller says he is confident that he can provide the right leadership Pitt Meadows needs. His approach at city hall would be the same as in business and in his personal life – pay as you go.
“Taxes are out of control everywhere, but how can you stop that,” he asks. “You have to say ‘We don’t have the money.’”
As examples, he said spending on the arena, traffic calming measures and the skateboard park are some areas where the city could have instead given taxpayers a break.
“Spending is out of control here. We need a wholesale change in management.”
“In all the years I ran my company, I had one month in the red, and that was the month that I incorporated,” he said.
Paller has been married to his wife Debbie for 43 years, and is a father of two. His main community involvement is with the Pitt Meadows Lions Club.
He ran for mayor in 2011, without having experience on council. He finished third in the polls with approximately 500 votes, behind winner Deb Walters with 2,000 and John Becker with 1,200.
This time, he sounds confident of success.
“I’m looking forward to the race, I’m looking forward to getting elected, and I’m looking forward to straightening this town out.”