With the election-nomination deadline on the fast-approaching horizon, White Rock’s list of council hopefuls is growing and shifting shape – with the announcement this week of a slate – and a pledge to challenge the mayor’s seat has been withdrawn.
A half-dozen White Rock council candidates, including two incumbents, plan to officially launch their team effort this Friday at 5 p.m. – one hour after the nomination period for the Nov. 15 municipal election closes.
A statement released Monday identifies incumbents Grant Meyer and Bill Lawrence, former councillors Lynne Sinclair and Cliff Annable, notary Megan Knight and Tourism White Rock vice-president Doug Hart as members of the White Rock Coalition.
It describes the slate as “a non-partisan team of independents working together for a better White Rock.”
Annable was among candidates in the 2011 municipal election who had planned to run as part of a five-member Team White Rock slate. That idea – announced at the time by now-incumbent mayor Wayne Baldwin – was shelved shortly after, with a lack of support for such groups cited as a driving factor.
“People in White Rock aren’t receptive to slates and are somewhat mistrustful of them,” Baldwin said at the time.
Members ran as independents, with only Baldwin elected.
The last time a slate listed on a White Rock civic ballot was successful was in the 2008 election, when candidates endorsed by Citizens for Positive Renewal swept the polls, claiming all but one seat. Members included Sinclair and now-incumbent councillor Helen Fathers, but Fathers parted ways with the group 2½ years later, attributing the decision to a matter of “conscience.”
Prior to that, Judy Forster was elected mayor in 2002 as part of a five-member slate, and was re-elected as an independent three years later.
In Monday’s news release, Meyer states, “It’s time that our city has a team of people representing a wide variety of interests and expertise who are able to bring independent viewpoints to issues facing our community, but at the same time who are able to work together with a common goal of achieving the very best decision for the entire city of White Rock.”
Of the six coalition members, only Meyer, Knight and Hart had filed nomination paperwork with the city by Peace Arch News’ press time Monday afternoon.
Hart’s intention to run in the upcoming election was announced by Tourism White Rock in a Sept. 29 news release. He stepped down from the TWR board to pursue the seat – a move TWR president David Webb described as “the right thing to do in this situation to avoid any perceived conflict of interest.”
According to the city’s website, the race list for councillor seats in White Rock numbered eight as of Monday afternoon. Names new to the list since PAN’s Oct. 1 print deadline include Hart, David Chesney, Dennis Lypka and Fathers.
No one had filed papers for the mayor’s seat, although one resident who told PAN early last month that he would be in the race now says his name will not be on the ballot.
Brooke Colby said by email Thursday that a “personal health problem” has forced him to step aside.
“I must withdraw from mayoral race as I would not be able to complete my duties if successful,” Colby writes.
Colby had contacted PAN in late September to dispel rumours that he had withdrawn.
“I am definitely running,” the 55-year-old said at the time.
Incumbent Laurae McNally is so far the only person listed running for the White Rock seat on the Surrey School Board.
Anyone planning to run for office has until 4 p.m. Oct. 10 to get their paperwork in to their respective city hall.