White Rock Coun. Lynne Sinclair says she’s had a sudden change of heart and wants to be mayor.
Sinclair confirmed Tuesday that she filed papers at city hall Oct. 7 – two days after current Mayor Catherine Ferguson announced she would not be seeking re-election.
“I had no intention (of running for mayor),” Sinclair told Peace Arch News. “Her announcement forced me to think about who on council should step up and assume the leadership and continue the momentum that’s begun on council.”
Sinclair will not be alone in the run for the mayor’s chair. As of Wednesday morning, businessman Larry Anschell had also filed nomination papers. While former city manager Wayne Baldwin had not yet filed papers, he announced his intent to run for mayor last week.
Sinclair was nominated for the role by former council hopeful Jean Kromm and former longtime councillor Vin Coyne – residents she described as “a unified voice in this town.”
“And that’s what we need to move forward,” Sinclair said, adding she has received positive responses to her decision.
Sinclair was first elected in 2008, endorsed at the time – along with four other candidates – by Citizens for Positive Renewal, of which Kromm was chair. Kromm ran for council herself in 2005; Coyne first held a seat in 1968-1969, and again from 1975-1996.
Sinclair said should she take the chair, the leap from first-time councillor to mayor will not be a big one.
“I don’t feel it is. That’s what Catherine did and I think I have a lot of provincial experience… a lot of organizational and meeting experience and a lot of political experience,” she said.
“As a councillor, I’ve had my share of working with the business community, the health and social non-profit community, and also the arts and cultural and heritage community. I’ve done a lot of work.
“I think all my background, really, will stand me in good stead as a strong leader.”
Anschell, owner of waterfront Turtle Recording Studios, is no stranger to the political fray, having run for councillor in the 2008 election. He was also central in the contentious Business Improvement Association issue, in which he disputed the organization’s procedures and policies – a dispute that had to be resolved in B.C. Supreme Court.
In the 2010 proceedings, Justice Robert Crawford ordered a new BIA election, and upheld Anschell’s position that the organization hadn’t been following its own rules.
Not available for comment before Peace Arch News deadline Wednesday morning, Anschell pointed to his website statement, which calls for “transparency and accountability” as being essential for reforming a city hall many feel is “dysfunctional.”
Council candidates as of Wednesday still numbered three: Brad Forster, Larry Robinson and Bruce McWilliam. One person, Laurae McNally, has filed for the seat of school trustee.
Forster is the husband of former White Rock mayor, Judy Forster; Robinson is a real estate agent; McWilliam describes himself as sole proprietor of B.E. McWilliam & Associates. McNally is current chair of the Surrey school board.
In all, 17 nomination packages were picked up at city hall. Arthur said she’d had 28 packages ready to go, based on interest seen in the 2008 election, when 23 people ran for council, two for mayor and one for school trustee.
Arthur said anyone interested in running for council, mayor or school trustee would be wise not to wait until the last minute, which is 4 p.m. Friday (Oct. 14).
“We encourage (people) not to do that, because if there’s something wrong (with the paperwork), there’s no time to fix it,” she said.
“Give yourself at least a couple of hours.”
– with files from Alex Browne