Port Alberni’s municipal election will take place in October of this year, but the race for seats has already started. While some politicians have already made public their intent to run for election, most are undecided.
John Douglas, who was elected mayor from 2011-2014, has made the decision to run for mayor again after a term away from council. He said there are “multifaceted reasons” behind his decision to run again, including the fact that he has been asked by a number of people to run for election.
“I found it very rewarding,” he said. “I felt that [our council] was just getting started. I’d like to be a part of helping Port Alberni move on in new directions.”
Douglas is hoping to increase community participation with the municipal government, and will be holding a town meeting at Char’s Landing on Tuesday, May 8.
“It’s just to give people an opportunity to provide their perspective,” he said. “It’s a place for people to come by and drop in to have face-to-face discussions and to generate some awareness and enthusiasm for municipal governance.”
This town meeting will be a casual “drop in when you can” event from 5-8 p.m.
Both councillors Dan Washington and Ron Paulson have also stated that they will be seeking re-election for another term in October.
Current Port Alberni mayor Mike Ruttan said he will be making a decision in the coming months.
“At this point I’m talking to people and assessing the level of support,” he said. “It’s not even May yet, and the election isn’t until October.”
Both councillors Chris Alemany and Denis Sauvé have stated that their primary focus is on their current council work, and they have not made any decisions at this time.
“I’m also always keen to encourage and support others to consider running,” added Alemany. “It’s a big decision.”
Councillors Jack McLeman and Sharie Minions are also currently undecided.
Minions added that she is “carefully considering” if she will be seeking a second term and in what capacity.
“Regardless of my decision, I am committed to staying in the community and contributing to making Port Alberni an even better place to live and work,” she added.