Terrace mayor Dave Pernarowski has announced he will not be running again for the position in this November’s local government elections.
“After careful consideration and consultation with my family, I have decided to announce today that I will not put my name forward as a Mayor candidate in the November 2014 municipal election,” said the mayor in a May 14 statement.
The announcement ended months of speculation as to whether he would run again.
Pernarowski says the challenge of juggling family life and work had reached the point he could not adequately pursue his career with PR Associates, the Vancouver public relations company which hired him to run its newly-opened Terrace office, and fulfil his mayoral duties.
“I took on everything that came at me and that means you aren’t doing your other job full time,” said Pernarowski, citing a just-completed city business trip to China followed by attendance this week at a major LNG in BC conference in Vancouver as an example of obligations that forced him to miss time at his day job.
“It’s not often that I would turn down a meeting but I had to from time to time,” Pernarowski said of the reverse scenario—when he had to decline meeting with industry leaders because of obligations in his private life.
“Many companies from China and Japan and all over the world are looking at Terrace and looking to meet with the mayor,” he said.
“I’m going to be flat out until the election,” Pernarowski continued.
He mentioned changes he has seen in Terrace since he started his life in municipal politics in 2007.
Pernarowski was first elected to Terrace city council in 2007 via a byelection to fill a vacancy when councillor Rich McDaniel passed away. He went on to defeat long-serving mayor Jack Talstra in the 2008 local government elections and was re-elected in 2011.
Pernarowski said the atmosphere has gone from down-in-the-dumps to revved up with new industries coming and traditional ones like forestry regaining momentum.
“It was tough around here. A lot of what I did [in my first term] was related to building confidence and optimism,” he said.
Pernarowski said he is impressed with how the community is responding to economic change.
“It isn’t really about any one person,” said Pernarowski. “It’s been all the people in the community who step up making things happen. Right from the administrative staff from the city of Terrace who do all that work, to the community organizations, to the volunteers, people who really step up to the plate to highlight and promote Terrace. You wouldn’t have the success that we’ve had without everyone participating in that way. From my perspective I have always been really impressed with people who do step up and are taking on those responsibilities. It’s been pretty cool to watch.”
He said the coming local elections, in which council members are to be elected for four-year terms, up from three years, are going to be crucial.
“The next mayor needs to be a person with a community-minded approach, someone who can listen to all angles of a situation before forming a decision. It’s important people get out and vote who that best person is for mayor and council,” he said. “It’s going to be such an important election for the city I would really encourage people to take a good look at the candidates coming forward and I hope we see a strong ballot.”