A priority for the Prince Rupert’s new council

Election season on the North Coast is now in full swing with the closing of the nomination period on October 14.

Election season on the North Coast is now in full swing with the closing of the nomination period on October 14.

Now as per usual during election season, I’m not going to show favoritism or state a preference to any one candidate or another, nor will the paper provide any more or less coverage to one candidate over another. All candidates will be given equal opportunity on the editorial side of things, though obviously the amount of advertising is up to the candidates themselves.

But one thing for certain here in Prince Rupert is that there will be, at the very least, two new faces on council for the coming term. Kathy Bedard and Jack Mussallem are both running for mayor, along with Corinna Morhart, which means that either one or both of them will be absent from the next municipal government.

The other opening on council came when Sheila Gordon-Payne, who has served two terms on council, chose not to seek re-election. While I haven’t always agreed with Sheila’s viewpoints in the council chambers, more often than not I’ve found her points, her questions and her stances well thought out and valid to the topic at hand. After six years of helping to run the City, I’d certainly like to acknowledge her time and efforts in representing the residents of Prince Rupert. As I said last week, being a municipal leader is a thankless job, so now seems like the opportune time to say thanks Sheila.

Regardless of what the next council looks like in terms of names and composition, I’d reallysuggest one of the first items to look at is getting together a referendum on borrowing for a new emergency building, as it is something that will only get more dire with age and is certainly a time sensitive issue. The borrowing bylaw prepared by staff this time around looked pretty good and the numbers about right, the onus now will be on the new council to provide the taxpayers the information needed to make an informed decision and get it out there as broadly as possible.

Things like what the building(s) will look like, where it/they will be located and the pros and the cons are all good places to start. One thing is for sure, anyone who is looking to get on council will be jumping in pretty quick and pretty deep in the year and years ahead.