Coun. Sam Waddington announced his intention to run for Chilliwack mayor this fall on the steps of the Chilliwack Museum. (Jennifer Feinberg/The Progress)

Chilliwack councillor Sam Waddington running for the mayor’s seat

First-term councillor launched his election campaign from the Chilliwack Museum steps on Wednesday

Ending a bout of online speculation, Coun. Sam Waddington confirmed Wednesday he will be running for mayor in the fall municipal election.

The 28-year-old launched his mayoral campaign from the steps of the Chilliwack Museum, which is the former City Hall building constructed in the classic Beaux-Arts style.

“Chilliwack is steeped in tradition,” said Waddington, a lifelong Chilliwack resident. Part of what is now Chilliwack was once known as Centreville, one of the third oldest settlements in B.C. after New Westminster and Fort Langley, he said.

Waddington acknowledged the campaign event was being held on unceded Sto:lo territory.

“Our community has grown but the history remains important and helps us understand where we are today,” he said.

He told the crowd he had reflected deeply on what he could contribute before deciding to run for the mayor’s chair, and his campaign focuses on how he would tackle the challenges and changes facing Chilliwack.

His decision to run came months before finding out that Mayor Sharon Gaetz had filed an Freedom of Information request to shed light on his expense report of last year.

Waddington is the second councillor to announce an intention to run for mayor. Earlier Coun. Ken Popove put his name forward.

Incumbent Mayor Sharon Gaetz has yet to say if she will seek re-election.

The campaign launch included the councillor’s friends, family, community supporters, as well as local business owners and local government officials from other jurisdictions.

The Progress asked Waddington to explain why he thinks he is ready to take the helm as mayor of Chilliwack.

“Despite my age and my relatively short tenure on council, my experience helps to give me a good perspective. It means I still have new ideas and a fresh perspective.”

Waddington said he considered what Chilliwack truly needs before committing to stand for election, and crafted a campaign platform with five major planks: Housing, public safety, economic development, transportation and community.

He said he “poured himself” into his first term on council.

“I dedicated myself completely to the work of delivering on the things I promised I would,” Waddington said, referring to campaign promises he made around citizen engagement, transportation and recreation.

The young entrepreneur won a seat on council in 2014, earning the most votes of any candidate that year. He became the founding chair of the public engagement committee, which used to be the Rural Advisory Committee. Waddington hosted town-hall engagement meetings in all corners of the city. He took on the role of inaugural chair of the public art committee, and the parks and trails committee, helping to bring these needs to the forefront of city planning.

Waddington has also been chair of the transportation committee, and helped to oversee the largest expansion ever undertaken for the Chilliwack transit system, as well as implementing Cycle Vision, the city’s first complete cycling plan.

Waddington opened his store, Mt. Waddington’s Outdoors, in 2012 and employs seven people. The next year, the business was awarded the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce New Business of the Year, and Waddington also was honoured with the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award from the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce.

The future is bright.

“Our strength today is in the desirability of the Chilliwack lifestyle, our proximity to an amazing outdoors, and our ideal location between the interior of B.C. and Metro Vancouver,” said Waddington.

Keeping up with the pace of change was a recurrent theme.

“Our city’s vision and action plan are no longer keeping up with our community’s aspirations.

“A city that never believes that it can be better will never live up to its potential,” he said.

As hopeful and as optimistic as he wants to be, Waddington said he was cognizant of the serious challenges and changes facing Chilliwack like crime, homelessness, mental health and addictions.

On the housing front: “If we are going to continue to make Chilliwack a great place to live, we need a housing strategy that keeps up with growth, provides diversity in the housing options available, and makes these options affordable.”

More platform details are on the campaign website at samwaddington.com

Election-related dates in 2018:

Municipal Election period:

Monday, January 1 to Friday, September 21

Nomination period:

Tuesday, September 4, to Friday, September 14,

Campaign period:

Saturday, September 22 to Saturday, October 20

General Voting Day:

Saturday, October 20

 

Coun. Sam Waddington announced his intention to run for Chilliwack mayor this fall on the steps of the Chilliwack Museum. (Jennifer Feinberg/The Progress)

Just Posted

Prolific offender charged in Chilliwack break-and-enter

Ifraz Shamil Khan also charged with flight from police and apprehended in Yarrow Dec. 5

Petition demands action after Leisure Centre thefts

‘Something has to be done,’ says victim

High death rate at Abbotsford Regional Hospital

Abbotsford has the worst-performing large hospital in B.C. on key safety measure

Education Minister to make announcement in Chilliwack Friday

Visit points to possible support for arts-and-technology school at former UFV site

Cold case hunters take on search for man who went missing from Chilliwack

Kristofer Couture’s car was found at Chilliwack trailhead in January but there’s been no sign since

‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

‘British Columbians are paying too much’: Eby directs ICBC to delay rate application

Attorney General David Eby calls for delay in order to see how two reforms play out

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

Owner surrenders dogs chained up outside among scrap metal, garbage to BC SPCA

Shepherd-breed dogs were living in ‘deplorable conditions.’

B.C. plane crash victim identified; witnesses describe ‘explosion’

He was a flight instructor, charter pilot and owned an airstrip before leaving Alberta

Most Read