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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.