Local businessman Dave Perritt has joined the race to become Mission’s next mayor.
Perritt, founder of Mission’s Grab-A-Java Coffee Roasters, says one of his mottos is “Leadership by example” and his life experiences make him the ideal candidate. He officially handed in his nomination papers on March 16.
“I have a varied and wide-ranging background and experience,” Perritt said. “From aviation maintenance and piloting, being a local business owner and operator, to all the various volunteer things I have done.”
After graduating high school in Abbotsford, Perritt said he found himself with few employment opportunities during the recession of the early 1980s. Being from a military family and a dual-citizen with the U.S., he said he volunteered with the U.S. Marines, completing tours around the world working in aviation maintenance and repair.
Using his veteran’s benefits to attend UFV in Abbotsford and study geography and history, Perritt soon discovered explosive urban growth in Abbotsford was endangering local fish habitats. Here he found his passion for volunteering.
Perritt has been a board member of Big Brothers for several years, helped form the Ravine Park Salmonid Enhancement Society, was chair of the Mission Chamber of Commerce tourism committee in the 1990s, and has done behind the scenes lobbying work, he said.
“I am most proud of the work we accomplished in Abbotsford, from lobbying local government, educating countless children and getting them involved in the school curriculum, doing hands on projects and seeing the impact,” Perritt said, giving the example of encouraging 60 children to participate in letter writing campaign to the mayor and council.
The candidate says some of the biggest issues facing the community are: The disruption and change caused by the COVID-19 pandemic; incredible pressures from housing and development; a heavy dependence on residential taxes; creating local jobs; expanding affordable housing; and sustainable transportation.
He said that he’s personally experienced the struggles of the pandemic, and had to close his coffeehouse of 26 years on 7th Avenue.