Lutes in, Muller out

Sechelt

Three-term Sechelt councillor Alice Lutes has confirmed she’ll be running again this fall, but Coun. Noel Muller says he will not seek a second term.

Lutes, who was first elected in 2008, made the announcement during the council reports segment of the Aug. 1 meeting, the last until after Labour Day.

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“Yes, I will be putting my name forward to stand for a councillor’s position on the District of Sechelt council in the upcoming election,” Lutes said.

Muller, who turned 36 last month, read from a prepared statement saying it was a difficult decision that took months of consideration.

“I want to thank my supporters, the first of which was my partner Georgia, who provided the vessel with which I could do this work,” he said. “Also, to council, staff, and the community for making this work a success. I have immense gratitude for the collective experience over this past four years.”

The emotion was clear in Muller’s voice as he continued. “I love my community, and that is what made this decision so difficult. I know that in the view of many in this community, I’m needed on council,” he said. “I’ve seen it myself many times, and I do not dispute the impact I have personally had by holding public office in Sechelt.”

Muller went on to call for change.

“The changes that are now required of us are so fundamental that government will never be the originator,” he said. “This needs to come from the grassroots, through ground-breaking societal change. In today’s world currently, we’re divided by politics. That much is abundantly clear, and that’s at the heart of what’s wrong.

It’s been more than a generation since we’ve been united in common cause on anything, and that needs to change, with politics along with it.

“More than anything else now, we need to move towards unity. There’s a storm coming, and we’re going to need all the help we can get. In the coming months, and years, you are still going to see me doing important political work in this community. My intention is to focus on things less political, and more foundational.  I hope you will join me in that work.

“Along with that, I will be focusing on synthesizing what I have learned towards producing lasting solutions that are both national and international in scale.

“You will get another chance to vote for me in the future.”

Muller’s remarks drew applause from the public gallery, and Mayor Bruce Milne asked Muller to circulate a written copy to the rest of council.

He has since posted his statement online at noelmuller.com

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