One city councillor in Chilliwack has confirmed he won’t be seeking re-election in the 2018 B.C. General Election in October.
The rest are holding their cards pretty close to the vest at this point.
With a few Lower Mainland mayors making early declarations, The Progress asked Chilliwack mayor and councillors recently what their intentions were regarding the 2018 elections, to see if there was any appetite for discussion.
Mayor Sharon Gaetz indicated publicly last fall she was leaning toward running again, and that is where she is still at the moment as well.
“If the election was held tomorrow, I would most certainly run,” Gaetz said. “But I am a realist, and a lot can happen in the next nine months.”
More likely is that a formal announcement about standing for re-election would be made closer to the summer.
One reason why some may be gearing up to run a little earlier is because of the shift from a three-year-term of office, to a four-year-term. Some may be gravitating toward running for a provincial or federal seat, as well.
“This is the first time in my recollection that people are declaring so early. Maybe some are thinking further ahead. It’s a bigger commitment now, so they have to be thinking about what they‘ll be doing in four years.”
Mayor Gaetz was first elected as a city councillor in 1996, and then voted in as mayor in 2008.
Coun. Chuck Stam will not be running in the upcoming local government elections for the first time in almost two decades.
Stam said he’s looking at other opportunities out there that he may want to pursue.
“It’s been 19 years of fun,” said Stam, confirming he won’t run. “I’ll miss it, certainly.”
He announced in a tweet back in September that this was indeed to be his last term as a city councillor:
“Today marks 100 shopping days until Christmas and 399 days left in my term on city council and retirement from public service. So excited!” wrote Stam.
He wanted anyone thinking about throwing their hat in the ring to have ample time to seek counsel among their families, friends and employers about the undertaking.
When The Progress sent out an enquiry about the elected officials’ intentions, only two responded, to say they would not be declaring their intentions, Coun. Sam Waddington and Coun. Ken Popove.
The other three city councillors, Sue Attrill, Jason Lum, and Chris Kloot, have not responded or signalled their intentions.