Incumbent mayor Mike Ruttan has announced he will seek re-election in the 2018 municipal election in October.                                 SUBMITTED PHOTO

Incumbent mayor Mike Ruttan has announced he will seek re-election in the 2018 municipal election in October. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Alberni Mayor Mike Ruttan announces re-election bid

Ruttan’s wrapping up his first term in municipal office

Port Alberni Mayor Mike Ruttan announced on Monday that he will be seeking re-election in the October municipal government election.

“Since the question was raised in the local media a few weeks ago, I’ve received a lot of encouragement from the public, and I wanted to confirm I will be seeking the support of the community to continue to serve the people of Port Alberni as mayor,” Ruttan said in a statement.

Ruttan is the second person to declare publicly that they will run for mayor in October: former mayor John Douglas, who lost to Ruttan in the 2014 election, has already held a public meeting to share his platform.

“I’m excited about the prospects for Port Alberni and firmly believe we have turned the corner toward a more prosperous future,” Ruttan said.

He noted the city is seeing a surge in licensing of new businesses, a number of new industrial and real estate development investments, and migration from larger urban areas.

“A priority for the city is to enable that growth. Our city can make a lot of progress in the next four years if we continue to focus on economic diversification while maintaining a prudent, balanced approach to taxation and renewal of city infrastructure.”

Increased collaboration and better cost sharing arrangements with other local governments in the Alberni Valley and at the provincial and federal levels have been priorities for Ruttan during his first term and must continue, he said.

“Whether it is developing community amenities like the aquatic centre or our waterfront, improving public safety or addressing our housing needs, the city needs leadership that can work effectively with government, business, and the non-profit sector to enhance the quality of life of the people of Port Alberni.”