Given a choice between politics or retirement, Lorraine March picks the former.
Last week, March made an early announcement of her intent to run for the mayor’s seat in the November municipal election.
March, who was succeeded by current Mayor Malcolm MacLeod in the last election, said that her desire to run again stems not from any particular issue, but from a personal preference to keep politically active in the community.
“This sounds kind of bizarre, but I was at a meeting a couple of weeks ago where they asked your occupation, and I had to put ‘retired,’ and it made me very sad,” says March with a laugh. “I said, I really want to run for mayor, I really want to do this again, because I really don’t like putting retired in that little spot.”
In a more serious tone, March says being mayor was something she really enjoyed, and that she sees need in the community for a positive, uniting attitude.
“I hear people being so cranky, and I know they were cranky when I was mayor too, but it hurts to see this community sort of at odds with each other, because it doesn’t take long before it becomes personal,” says March. “And I think there’s so much to do, we don’t have time to be cranky. We really don’t.”
March says her experience as mayor taught her a great deal. First and foremost, it showed her the importance of getting out in the community and speaking directly with residents.
“My goal, it may not be achievable, is to knock on every door in the municipality – you need to make that connection,” says March, adding she would expect the same of council if she is elected.
“I plan on making some changes, so mayor and council will go out into the community rather than the community come to us. It’s key if we’re going to build some relationships with people in the community.”
Another change for March will be in the way she campaigns. This time around March will be using technology to get her message out, such as the social networking website Facebook, as well as setting up her own website. March admits, however, that there’s a bit of a learning curve to it, even when it comes to texting. But she maintains a positive attitude.
“If a 16-year-old boy can text, a 62 year old woman should be able to manage it,” says March.