Bidgood to run for councillor's seat, not mayor's
Despite initially wanting to run for mayor in the upcoming election, councillor Bruce Bidgood announced today he will run for a city councillor's seat instead.
"Several months ago I expressed an interest in running for the position of Mayor," Bidgood said in a news release where he explained should he decide to run, it would leave only two experienced councillors in the race this November.
"Each one of my fellow members of Council have petitioned me over the last few months to refrain, at least for now, running for Mayor so that my experience and leadership will be available to the future council," he said.
Bidgood also noted that should the mayor's job change to a full-time position in the future, as recommended by the Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce, this could interfere with his current job as a professor at UNBC.
Part time mayors work about 20 to 40 hours per week, he said, explaining that while he most often could balance the work schedule, there could also be times when demands from both positions wouldn't mix.
"When I said that I would like to run, it was to serve as Mayor and I was not looking for a full-time job," said Bidgood. "In some ways, I am the first casualty of the full-time Mayor debate."
"A good councilor recognizes that their own goals and passions must be tempered by the needs and will of council and the community," he said. "I will be very pleased to serve another term on council should I receive a mandate from the residents in the upcoming election."
After Bidgood's announcement this morning, city staff clarified that it's only the mayor's compensation currently being looked at, not an increase in the work hours and responsibilities involved.
While the Chamber of Commerce did propose a full-time, fully-compensated mayor for Terrace, Council decided at the August 22, 2011 council meeting only to look at the mayor's pay, not work hours.
A task force has been assigned to look at this matter and will present a report to council at the next meeting.
Following is Bidgood's announcement letter to the public:
Dr. Bruce A. Bidgood
Several months ago I expressed an interest in running for the position of Mayor of the City of Terrace in the November, 2011 election. I have spent much of the interim evaluating the responsibilities and demands of the position which I sought including consulting other Mayors in Northern B.C. about the amount of time they spend fulfilling the role; estimates for part-time Mayors range from 20 to 40 hours per week. I am a full-time professor and while I believe that I could meet this demand during optimal circumstances there are episodic periods throughout the academic year which require more of my attention and would leave me taxed to perform both roles. Add to this the recent call by the Chamber of Commerce to increase the position to a full-time Mayor ostensibly to be available daily to meet with prospective investors. When I said that I would like to run, it was to serve as Mayor and I was not looking for a full-time job; in some ways, I am the first casualty of the full-time Mayor debate.
While at the annual conference of the Union of B.C. Municipalities, I consulted extensively with my colleagues about the election and the future of our City Council. With two members of Council already declared to run for the position of Mayor and two members announcing that they will not seek re-election, this leaves the number of experienced councilors available for re-election at three; this would reduce to two, if I were to run for the Mayor’s job. Each one of my fellow members of Council have petitioned me over the last few months to refrain, at least for now, running for Mayor so that my experience and leadership will be available to the future Council. I am very honoured by the confidence which my fellow elected colleagues have in me.
I wish to announce that I will put on hold my Mayoral aspirations and run for the position of councillor in the upcoming November, 2011 election. I will be very pleased to serve another term on Council should I receive a mandate from the residents in the upcoming election. A good councilor recognizes that their own goals and passions must be tempered by the needs and will of Council and the community.
Thank you to all those who have encouraged and supported me as a potential Mayoral candidate. Next time.