March 19th, 2018

Three councillors so far planning to seek re-election

By Gillian Slade on February 13, 2017. 

Only three current councillors have already made the decision to run for another term in the fall municipal election.

“I am definitely planning to run again,” said Coun. Les Pearson who has already registered as a candidate. He is currently in his second term of office. “The more I got into this term the more I felt the need to go on.”

He says there is value to continuity and notes that both Coun. Julie Friesen and Coun. Bill Cocks have plenty of experience on council but they missed a term.

“Sometimes with new councillors it is important to remind them of the development and how history has evolved over the time,” said Pearson. “My views aren’t always the same as other councillors so it is good to have that other perspective.”

Coun. Bill Cocks will run again.

“I think at the current time my role as councillor is one that’s respected and valued and that’s where I intend to offer my service.”

Cocks was councillor from 1998 to 2007 before this current term. He believes having a blend of new and experienced councillors is valuable.

Coun. Brian Varga has already registered to run again. He ran twice before but the current term in office is his first. Being a councillor is a big learning curve and the experience he now has under his belt has given him a thorough understanding of processes, he says.

Coun. Robert Dumanowski, who is in his fifth term on council, has not made a final decision yet. Before taking that step he makes a point of talking to members of the public for feedback on his role. He also talks to his family and his employer. He believes there is a place for new people and incumbents.

“It really does make for a well rounded council,” said Dumanowski. “There’s a movement against career politics. I respect that.”

Coun. Celina Symmonds says it is too early to decide.

“I’m just not ready to make an announcement about a decision one way or another,” said Symmonds.

Her role at the Food Bank and her value on council are factors in deciding, she said. The value of experience on council in her first term is not discounted.

“I think it takes two years to really know what’s happening so I feel I would be very able to jump right in if I were to decide to run again,” said Symmonds.

Coun. Jamie McIntosh, who is also in his first term, has not decided whether he will run for council again but expects to make that decision in the summer. He is considering the time commitment and will talk to the people who supported him last time for their feedback.

Coun. Jim Turner is leaning towards running again but has a couple of business interests and he wants to ensure he will have enough time.

“I would love to do it again,” said Turner. “Finally after three years I’m getting to know how everything works.”

There are some projects he would like to see through completion, said Turner.

Coun. Julie Friesen, who estimates she has served a total of about 18 years on council, has not made a final decision yet but is “seriously considering” one more term as councillor.

“I do believe this council has, for the first time in quite a few years, really formed a solid team,” said Friesen.

The decisions may not have pleased everyone but Friesen believes they have been right for the city.

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