Local officials declare November elections intentions

City councillors and school board trustees talk of their future as Terrace elected officials

The democratic process is kicking into gear again in Terrace as candidates ramp up for the local government elections.

In addition to current city councillor Bruce Bidgood deciding to run for mayor and former councillor Carol Leclerc seeking a return to municipal politics by also running for mayor, all of the current councillors say they’ll be trying for re-election.

Veteran city councillors Brian Downie and Lynne Christiansen have both announced their candidacies.

Downie says he’s looking forward to the November elections now that the city and area are experiencing an economic upswing.

“We are in an economic improvement, or boom if you like, and there are opportunities for Terrace and I am exited about those opportunities and I think there are some things we can do to guide development,” he said.

Christiansen said her candidacy provides continuity on city council. But she also welcomed other candidates.

“Always good to have some change,” she said.

Other city councillors running again are James Cordeiro and Stacey Tyers.

There’s a guarantee of at least two new faces on the six-seat city councillor complement.

Bidgood’s decision to run for mayor opens up his council seat.

And Marylin Davies resigned earlier this year and has since moved away.

The mayor’s chair became open this spring when current mayor Dave Pernarowski said he wouldn’t be running.

And there could be plenty of room for new faces on the Coast Mountains School District board in the November elections.

Art Erasmus, one of two Terrace trustees on the seven-member board, and its current chair, is unsure if he’ll run again.

He cites the continuing unrest between the province and teachers as a reason.

“I want to see how everything is going to play out, and to decide by 15th,” said Erasmus last week of his intentions.

“I haven’t decided if I will say yes or no. It’s been a good run for the nine years.”

Erasmus said it’s been frustrating standing by during the strike and being unable to influence the outcomes as an elected trustee.

“It’s all between government and union,” he said, lamenting the fact as school board trustee one has  “no influence at all.”

“You wonder what you can contribute, but hopefully in another couple weeks it will be behind us and we can move forward with optimism,” he said.

Roger Leclerc, who is the other Terrace trustee, said he will not run again.

He was elected in 2011 after an absence of nearly a decade.

“Too busy with real life,” said Leclerc who is the board’s vice chair.

“If I can’t do it properly, I shouldn’t be doing it.”

School trustee for Thornhill Gary Turner was not available for comment at the time of writing.