Steve Chernishov running for Invercargill mayoral position
A new candidate has put up their hand for the Invercargill City Council mayoral position who unlike some of the current candidates has never held a position on the council.
Steve Chernishov has a background in education and graphic design and has been involved in running an accommodation business in Queenstown.
It was through his time in Queenstown, meeting a range of different people that gave him his sense of freedom in how local government and positions of power could be run by empowering communities, Chernishov said.
His four main points he would like to make a change in, if elected, are community education, housing and infrastructure, waste management, and events and attractions.
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For community education, he thinks instead of spending energy around legislation and control, energy should be spent to enable people to solve their own issues.
A unitary plan approach towards building smaller houses on the land available was something to consider to ease the housing crisis.
His own property was an example of this which featured two nine square metre cabins he built on his existing property.
By building smaller houses on smaller lots home ownership would be more accessible and not limited to the social elite with large mortgages, Chernishov said.
Waste should be dealt with locally instead of exported overseas and he would like to see only one colour of glass bottle in Invercargill.
And, encouraging community engagement would create vibrant events and attractions to the city.
Visitors to the city have told him that the city lacked attraction and something needed to be down about it, he said.
"I thought this was a city but I went to town and I only saw 15 people and it was a Friday night and there were five cars driving up and down and thought what was that about?"
It was a cultural thing and something that couldn't be blamed on the government, he said.
"It's not like can we ask the government to build attractions, we can use community education for people to be empowered to start something."
Previously Chernishov ran for a council position in 2016 but decided to go bigger this time and run for mayor.
He does not claim to have all the answers but it was worth trying something new, he said.
"As soon as you step out to try something new, people will say you have to be realistic and you are probably not going to make it.
"What I want to do is to encourage people to ask what are my values and what is important to me, what I really want the place that I live in to be like and choose to be part of making that happen."