A Smithers businessman is throwing his hat into the ring to become the next mayor of Smithers.
Joe Bramsleven, owner of Dynamic Cleaning Services, announced Monday he intends to contest the byelection scheduled for Oct. 17.
He is currently in the process of putting together the 10 nominations required to officially enter the race and said he would get his papers in by the end of the nomination period that began Sept. 1 and ends Sept. 11.
Bramsleven said he, and many of the residents he has talked to, feel like recent councils have been “putting the cart before the horse” by encouraging growth while not building the infrastructure to accommodate it.
“There’s been a lot of new people come in, which is a great thing, but the only reservation [people] have with that is do we have enough housing, do we have enough jobs and do we have enough infrastructure to maintain that influctuation of new people coming in?” he said.
Bramsleven was born in New Westminster and was adopted by a Smithers couple at birth.
He grew up in Smithers and after high school worked as a cook in various Smithers restaurants for 22 years before going off to pursue a new career as an excavator operator in Alberta.
That led to other jobs in the oil and gas sector until the industry crashed in 2006 putting him out of work.
“I came home because this is my home town,” he said, adding he was welcomed back by the cleaning services industry, with which he has had a long history having started with Apex Cleaning Services when he was 16.
He said he had never really thought about getting into business for himself until a friend with one of the other cleaning services encouraged him to launch his own company.
“I didn’t know much about business and so forth, but my buddy says, ‘well, you just close your eyes and jump right in,’ so I did,” he said.
“It’s been very successful since and it’s my 10th year anniversary this year.”
Only one other candidate has expressed her intention to run, former Deputy Mayor Gladys Atrill, who stepped down from her council seat Aug. 11.
No candidates have come forward to challenge for the vacant councillor position.