Kevin Wright has thrown his hat in the ring for Port Alberni’s mayoral race.
“My decision to run has been driven by many people coming to me daily asking if I would consider running,” Wright posted on Facebook, where he announced his decision Friday afternoon (June 29).
When I first came to this community I felt instantly connected to a community full of kind, generous people. A community with a strong will and a playful heart,” Wright wrote in a statement.
“I also found a community that needed to rekindle its entrepreneurial spirit. I have been an advocate of enterprise ever since. We have dozens of empty storefronts and derelict buildings and little if any effective plan to address the issue.
“Over the past 10 years, on numerous occasions, I have come before three different councils to advocate for a comprehensive plan to work with building owners and entrepreneurs to create a more diverse economy. An economy that can protect us from sudden downturns in our industrial sector. An economy designed to service our community better and provide jobs to more people. An economy that allows people more access to products they desire and services they are forced to seek elsewhere. An economy that provides a better tax base to help pay for the things we need and shares the tax load currently being absorbed by the citizens,” he wrote.
“I am committed to seeing our economy more vibrant and diverse and at the same time protecting the special connection we all share with the amazing people in this valley.”
Wright is the fourth person to declare he is running for mayor: other candidates include Sharie Minions, incumbent Mike Ruttan and John Douglas.
Those who have already begun campaigning for city councillor positions include John Van Dyke, Tali Campbell, Chris Alemany, Karrine Magnussen, Dan Washington and Ron Paulson. Alemany, Washington and Paulson are incumbent councillors.
Wright also ran for mayor in 2014, but Ruttan was elected that year.
Candidates have been declaring their intentions to run since early May, but the official nomination period doesn’t open until 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 4. It closes at 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14 (no late nominations will be accepted). General voting day will be Saturday, Oct. 20.
Nomination packages will be ready for pickup at city hall and the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District office (for ACRD directoral and school board positions) on July 27.
The City of Port Alberni has changed its nomination process: those wishing to run for council positions must have signatures from 10 eligible electors as well as the candidate consenting to the nomination, and nominees must live in the city limits but candidates don’t have to. Regional district candidates must have two signatures from eligible electors plus the candidate’s written consent. School district candidates also need two signatures from eligible voters plus the candidate’s consent.
Potential candidates are invited to attend an information session on Thursday, July 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the Dogwood Room at Echo Centre (4255 Wallace St.). The session, jointly organized by city chief election officer Davina Hartwell and Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District/ School District No. 70 (Alberni) chief election officer Wendy Thomson, will provide info on candidate responsibilities both during and after the election and answer any questions.
For more information, e-mail Hartwell at email@example.com and Thomson at firstname.lastname@example.org.