Harrington to run for city council

Dick Harrington, who has acted as campaign manager for local NDP candidates in provincial and federal elections, has thrown his own hat into the ring for a seat on Chilliwack city council.

Dick Harrington, who has acted as campaign manager for local NDP candidates in provincial and federal elections, has thrown his own hat into the ring for a seat on Chilliwack city council.

“I have a fairly extensive background in Niagara Falls city council and the Niagara Regional Council,” he said in an interview Wednesday.

Harrington was a city councillor in Niagara Falls for three years and sat on 13 committees during that time, including finance, public works, social services and downtown development.

“That was a huge issue in Niagara Falls,” he said, as the city saw 18 million visitors a year, and had ongoing problems crime problems like prostitution and drug abuse.

“Sound familiar?” he asked.

But Harrington is quick to add that he is a relative newcomer to Chilliwack, and he realizes he still has lots to learn about the community.

“Downtown is the heart of the community – but it’s not the only part,” he said.

He is asking Chilliwack voters to email their views on municipal issues to him at dickharrington@hotmail.com

He said some of the issues he’s investigating so far include the need for more parking at Prospera Centre, flooding in Yarrow/Greendale, and issues of congestion, erosion and transit in Promontory.

Agricultural land issues are also “dear to my heart,” he said, as he dealt with development pressures on farmlands as a councillor on the Niagara Regional Council.

As regional councillor, Harrington said he was also part of a team that managed a $180-million budget, and that he served on major committees including family services, the hospital board, and social services.

Harrington also has experience in the private sector, operating a sports store in St. Catharines, and in the educational sector as a school principal for five years in isolated Arctic communities that delivered “highly successful” sport and trade programs for Inuit students.

Sports is a major interest of Harrington’s, and he said he has a 20-year history of coaching – up to seven sports per year – all on a volunteer basis.

Now retired, Harrington said he believes he has the time, the desire and the experience to make a difference on Chilliwack’s city council.

“I think I have a background that could be of service to people here,” he said.

rfreeman@theprogress.com

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