Sechelt Mayor Bruce Milne has announced he will run again in the fall, but says he doesn’t plan to formally launch his campaign until after Labour Day.
Milne served two terms as mayor in the late ’90s and stepped into the political arena again in 2014, defeating then-mayor John Henderson.
In a release confirming his re-election bid, Milne said he’s spent the past six months talking with people about whether to seek another term, and that it was not an easy decision.
“What I heard was widespread support for this council and clear recognition of the important work that has been accomplished in rebuilding local government in Sechelt,” he said. “Everyone I spoke with wants to avoid going backwards – they want us to move forward on the foundation put in place since 2014.”
Milne said the last four years have been “very, very challenging – but this council has accomplished everything they were elected to do: stabilize local government and put an end to reckless spending, rebuild a professional civil service and, most important, publicly and openly demonstrate how a diverse and independent group of community members can work together on council, making tough decisions in a civil and professional way.”
Milne’s release lists off several accomplishments of the current council, including dealing with a major report from the Auditor General for Local Government, establishment of a financial sustainability plan, and bringing in updated development cost charges “so growth was no longer subsidized by taxpayers,” while approving more development applications and building permits “than at any time in Sechelt’s history.”
Milne notes the value of building permits issued in 2017 was $43 million, and said the number of business licences issued has increased every year since 2014. The district’s annual report says 131 were issued in 2017.
“Developers are lining up to do business in Sechelt,” Milne said. “The community is in the driver’s seat on how that development takes place. Voters will elect a council that protects the values of Sechelt and councillors who have proven they have the courage and skill to manage – and to lead – under pressure.”
Milne said he released the announcement this week, although the campaign will not ramp up until September, because he “wanted other candidates for council to know his plans so they can make their own decisions.”
Two other incumbents have already made their decisions. Coun. Mike Shanks intends to seek re-election and Coun. Darnelda Siegers announced her intention to run for mayor more than a year ago.
Coun. Noel Muller addressed the coming election during the July 4 council meeting, but didn’t confirm whether he was running again. Instead he offered to talk with anyone considering a run, in Sechelt or elsewhere, and encouraged people to come forward.
“I think that this is a fantastic community to be on town council in,” Muller said. “I think the divisions really get overplayed sometimes, particularly in the media and social media, and serving is an honour and a pleasure and I recommend it to anyone if you really care about your community.”