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Mayor’s job up for grabs

MAYOR DAVE Pernarowski is to face competition from city councillor Bruce Martindale in this fall’s municipal election.

And the race could expand to three people if another city councillor, Bruce Bidgood, decides to enter the race.

Pernarowski, who became mayor in 2008 after defeating longtime mayor Jack Talstra, announced Sept. 23 he would seek election for a second third-year term.

“I have enjoyed being creative in community promotion and problem solving and I’m proud to be acting as an ambassador for Terrace and liaison with senior levels of governments,” said Pernarowski in a release.

“I understand the challenges facing Terrace and I’m constantly looking to find solutions to those challenges.”

Pernarowski’s term has been characterized by promoting the city as a supply and services centre to take advantage of already-underway and planned large-scale industrial developments in the region.

That’s designed to replace business lost when the city’s two sawmills closed as part of the collapse of what was once a dominant regional forest industry.

“I’m excited about the future of Terrace. I remain passionate about helping this community grow and prosper. I’m committed to building on our successes and bringing our community vision to life,” Pernarowski continued.

Martindale, who released his decision to run last weekend, also used the word passionate to describe his approach.

“I am passionate about Terrace and you can expect me to be super-passionate about promoting Terrace and moving forward,” said Martindale, who was first elected to council in 2008. Martindale said he made his decision to run after listening to and speaking with people around the city.

“I want to move forward faster than has been the case,” said Martindale. “I’ve not been happy with the pace of progress.” He singled out the move to increase recycling as something that needs to be more developed.

“I talk about it as zero waste,” said Martindale, adding that the idea of reducing the amount of waste to be thrown out will become important when the planned new Forceman Ridge landfill site halfway to Kitimat on Hwy37 South opens.

“The distance to transport then increases. The less we have to transport, the less expensive it will be,” he said.

Martindale pledged to have a council he said that listens to all voices.

“People will know there will be debate and their ideas will be heard,” he said.

Bruce Bidgood hinted as far back as December 2010 that he was considering a run at the mayor’s seat this December, but needs to better understand what’s involved with handling the top council job.

“I am a [UNBC] professor and that’s my primary vocation but I’ve always tried to reconcile that with being a city councillor and I’ve done relatively well but the mayor’s job is so much more [such as] public appearances and travelling and it would be hard to reconcile with teaching classes,” he said.

Bidgood, as is the case with Pernarowski and Martindale, is at the Union of BC Municipalities convention in Vancouver this week.

He’ll be taking the opportunity to ask mayors from other communities about how they may balance their jobs with civic government commitments. Bidgood was also first elected to council in 2008.

Depending upon how everything pans out, there will be plenty of opportunity for new faces on council. Carol Leclerc has already decided not to run and if Bidgood joins Martindale in the race for mayor, three of the six council seats will be open. The nomination period opens Oct. 4 and lasts until Oct. 14 with general voting day being Nov. 19.

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