Suzanne Senger, who ran for mayor of Gibsons in 2014, has set her sights on winning a council seat in the town in the Oct. 20 municipal election.
Senger, 44, moved to Gibsons in 2001 with her young son and established a waterfront hostel on a heritage property on Marine Drive, which she operated until a 2010 fire that started in a nearby building and spread to the hostel.
Senger’s campaign announcement highlights her involvement in local government issues and volunteer work with groups that include the Gibsons Landing Business Association, Sunhaven Waldorf School, Sunshine Coast Lacrosse Association and the Salvation Army.
She has served as the president of the Gibsons Alliance of Business and Community Society (GABC) and “championed many proactive community initiatives in Gibsons, by working together with staff and elected people; engaging and consulting community stakeholders and encouraging participation in government processes … [helping] the Town of Gibsons achieve consensus around some of its most important initiatives, including the Harbour Area Plan, Official Community Plan Update, and Aquifer Protection Area.”
Senger currently works as a campaigns director for BC Spaces for Nature, and she has also been an outspoken critic of the Town’s handling of the approval process for the George Hotel and Residences project on the waterfront, which was one of the central issues in her 2014 mayoralty bid.
Senger said she ran in 2014 because she felt the incumbent, Wayne Rowe, wasn’t providing leadership for Gibsons to “grow and develop sustainably and ethically, in ways which benefit all citizens and bring community together.” She received 807 votes compared to Rowe’s 1,419 votes.
She said she decided not to run against Coun. Silas White, the only declared candidate for mayor so far.
“I’ve had ongoing conversations with Silas since he was elected to council in 2014,” Senger said in her announcement. “Frankly, he has incorporated a lot of the issues I have raised with him into his mayoral campaign platform. So, rather than run against him, I will give Silas the benefit of the doubt and work with him at the council table, to keep his campaign promises.”
She said, if elected, she’ll focus on local government accountability, affordability, access, sustainable growth and protection of the Gibsons aquifer and the environment.