With current mayor of Village of Canal Flats Bruce Woodbury stepping down, a void has been left in Canal Flats politics, a void that current councillor Ute Juras is hoping to fill.
Juras, a married mother of two, has lived in the Columbia Valley for nearly 25 years, and in Canal Flats for the past 20. She has served on village council since the 2004 incorporation of Canal Flats, and has served as a member of the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) since 2005.
Juras says her time on town council has been invaluable to her preparing to run for the position of mayor.
“My time on town council has really opened my eyes,” Juras said.
“Municipal government is really the first line of defence, and acts as a liaison between residents and higher levels of government.”
Juras said she has been considering running for mayor for the past two elections, but felt she would be more effective on town council.
With incumbent mayor Woodbury not seeking re-election this term, Juras says that she is ready to take on the challenge.
“Now that I have the experience from serving on town council, this is really a natural progression for me,” she said. “I have the experience, I have knowledge of the issues facing the region, and above all, I love my community.”
Juras cites her good relationships with MLA Norm Macdonald and MP David Wilks as strong factors working in her favour.
If elected mayor, Juras says she would like to have a more open, transparent form of government, one in which she would like to revisit the official community plan to match current residents’ goals and ambitions. She also says that she would like to see more investment in the community, as well as more businesses and residential areas developed in some of Canal Flats’ empty lots.
“I’d also like the community to get more involved,” she said. “I’d like to take the opportunity to encourage people to get out and vote, but also to run for positions on town council, as we need more people to help make decisions in our community.”
The closing date for nominees to submit their candidacy is October 14 at 4 p.m.