If you’re thinking of donning your public service hat and taking a run at civic politics on October 19, the candidate nominations open in just over a month. Today in their Capital Update, the City released several important dates for would-be councillors to keep in mind:
September 4 – Nominations Open
September 21 at 3:00 p.m. – Nominations Close
September 23 at 3:00 p.m. – Last day for Candidate to withdraw
September 24 at 5:00 p.m. – Last day to question eligibility of Candidate
October 19 – General Election
Why run? Well, aside from the fact that municipal politics are arguably the politics that have the most impact on people’s’ day-to-day lives, being a councillor gives you an extra $18,000 or so a year in honoraria, and there are some nifty travel and conference benefits.
But more than that, it’s a chance to serve your fellow Yellowknifers and make this town a better place. And in a city our size, with a voting system in which the top eight candidates win (rather than a first-past-the-post system where only one person wins in each riding) Yellowknife municipal politics is uniquely accessible for the aspiring politician.
This year that may be especially true, with at least one incumbent (Cory Vanthuyne) taking a run at territorial politics, long-serving Bob Brooks stepping down, and a few other names rumoured to be on the move.
This year, some key issues we see coming up in the municipal contest: the current council’s record on downtown redevelopment, what to put in the empty 50/50 lot, land purchase(s), taxation, the bid for the Canada Winter Games, the development of the Old Town waterfront and the ongoing discussion of how to handle the Woodyard and the houseboat community.