Candidates for council starting to come forward

City of Chilliwack: Mayor Sharon Gaetz is going to run for a third term.

The stream of potential candidates for the 2014 municipal elections in Chilliwack is still a trickle.

But individuals who’ve pledged to run in the Nov. 15 local elections are starting to step forward.

Mayor Sharon Gaetz is the only one so far to be officially seeking the mayor’s chair.

“I have much more that I would like to do,” she announced in a press release Tuesday.

Gaetz has served Chilliwack on council for 18 years, and is willing to let her name stand for another term as mayor.

“The vision that our council has established for the revitalization of the heart of our city, the downtown core, has begun in earnest,” she said.

The next phase is “actively marketing properties” purchased by the city, and working together with the development community on the potential.

Priorities include keeping the “lowest taxes” in the Lower Mainland while providing first-class amenities.

“Our investment has not only been in bricks and mortar, but in people,” noting the city has partnered with the Chilliwack Health and Housing Contact Centre, The Village on School Street and the Cyrus Centre for youth.

“Homeless people in our city have found shelter and most importantly, homes and a sense of community and belonging,” Gaetz said.

Dick Harrington, a retired educator and business person, is taking another run at a seat on council, on the heels of a failed bid last time. His goal for 2014 is to “clean up” city hall.

He announced his campaign for a seat on city council Tuesday at the Landing Leisure Centre, stating “too many decisions are made behind closed doors,” with no public debate.

“I’m a straight-talking, energetic senior, and you will always know where I stand,” said Harrington. “It’s time to give Chilliwack a clean sweep.”

His proposal is to build a “fast and free” municipal WiFi network for Chilliwack.

“It’s a new idea that would help entrepreneurs build new businesses and create jobs just as much as it would help seniors and students,” he said.

Store owner Sam Waddington, 24, was the first person in town to officially declare he’d be running for a seat on council back in July. His top issues are downtown redevelopment, transit, and solidifying Chilliwack’s position in the region.

Carleton Toews announced last month he is seeking re-election to the Cultus Lake Park Board.

“I have enjoyed these past three years serving the Community of Cultus Lake and representing Residents of Chilliwack and Cultus Lake,” Toews said. “We all share the same heart — Cultus Lake, ours to preserve and protect.”

He always asks himself a question before making a board decision: “How will this decision affect the Park in the next 100 years?”

Toews called serving on the Board and working with staff, “a great privilege” and said decisions “made these past three years and the progress of the park have provided financial stability and long-term planning.”

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