James Cordeiro, who is running for a second term on Terrace city council following his first election in 2011, is just like a lot of local residents.
“We came north in 2004 – for two years,” he says of the move here from the Lower Mainland prompted because his wife had just completed her pharmacy training and accepted a job in Terrace.
And now, fully settled in the community, wife Kirsten continues her pharmacy career while Cordeiro, 39, is involved in several local businesses.
He describes himself as an entrepreneur thanks to his ownership of Blackstone’s Restaurant, managing the The Lodge at Skeena Landing accommodations in the same complex and of his mentorship role at Xanders coffee shop downtown.
Cordeiro says his motivation lies in the need for the city to think out of the box.
He advocates trying different things to establish a steady economy as opposed to what had been the traditional forest industry-based boom and bust model.
“For that I would be concentrating on small business,” said Cordeiro. “I’ve said it might be better to have 10 businesses who hire 10 people each rather than one business hiring 100 people. If one of those 10 goes down, you lose 10 jobs. But if that one big business goes down, you lose all 100 jobs.”
Cordeiro, one of the councillors who voted to oppose Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline plan shortly after the 2011 municipal election, remains opposed, saying that while he wants economic activity, it shouldn’t come at the risk of “selling the things that make Terrace and this region unique.”
Still, Cordeiro is a solid supporter of the city’s sale of approximately half of its Skeena Industrial Development Park’s 2,000 acre inventory to Chinese business interests.
“When I spoke about those 10 businesses, that’s the kind of activity envisioned there, a variety of businesses,” he said.
“What I’d like is to get to a point where my son doesn’t have to move out to find a job,” he said of his eight-year-old. “We need something so our young don’t have to leave or to have something to come back to.”
Cordeiro acknowledged that the pace of subdivision development involving clearing of forested land may make local residents uncomfortable.
“But if people want opportunities to stay, then there need to be places to live,” he said.
His most frustrating time on council has been dealing with the issue of providing housing for all income levels.
“The city does have limitations of what it can accomplish,” said Cordeiro.
Cordeiro was nominated by Bruno Belanger and Alex Vogel.