Unless Coun. Matt McLean has a change of heart before September, there will be at least one local government race in Sechelt this fall.
The first-term councillor stated at the Sechelt council's April 6 meeting that he will not be running for the next term. That announcement means there will be at least one vacancy to fill at the council table when local governments across the province are slated to host voting opportunities to select their elected officials for the next four-year term. Election day will be October 15.
With McLean saying that he is out and Mayor Darnelda Siegers indicating on March 31 that she plans to seek a second term, the picture of the 2022 candidate slate for Sechelt is beginning to gel. Those interested in putting their names forward for consideration for one of the seven positions have until September to do so.
For the past three months, Coun. Alton Toth has included a count of the number of days to the upcoming election in his reports at Sechelt regular council meeting. Neither Toth nor any of the other councillors have made their intentions related to the next election known.
In making his announcement McLean, stated his decision was made to support his plans to pursue further education and career advancement. He said, “I am not leaving this role because my work is complete, or it has proven to be too difficult, or not rewarding. There is much more to do, and I would want to be part of it, but I need to think about my long-term personal goals. I need to build a career and strengthen my relationship. To that end, I have planned to move to Vancouver Island. I am currently working on my Masters in Community Development at UVic, and I intend to build my career in not-for-profit management.”
Speaking to the importance of having strong local councils and boards, McLean said he was willing to help anyone who feels they may want to take a run at seeking a position on one of the Coast’s elected bodies. “I would like to offer myself to any candidate across the Sunshine Coast who has questions whether we agree on things or not. In my mind, the number one requirement for this job is an ability to learn. So, if you want to get started on that learning journey, please reach out,” he said.
With family roots in the community, McLean said that Sechelt will remain ”home” no matter where he resides. The former manager of the Sechelt Downtown Business Association was successful in his first run for local elected office in 2018.