The 2018 municipal election campaign got a jump start this week when Courtenay Councillor Erik Eriksson told Decafnation that he’s running for mayor.
Eriksson is the first Comox Valley candidate to formally announce his campaign.
While most incumbents and potential newcomers are still mulling the pros and cons of committing to a four-year term that won’t end until 2023, Eriksson said he couldn’t wait to start building support.
Eriksson said it wasn’t his intention to contest incumbent Mayor Larry Jangula for the mayor’s chair, but he also couldn’t wait for Jangula to finally decide if he’s retiring or seeking another term. Jangula has hinted at stepping down next year.
“I just had to get my campaign started,” Eriksson said. “It takes time to put together a successful support team for the mayor’s office.”
Voters go to the polls on Oct. 20 next year. The official nomination period for candidates begins on Sept. 3, 2018 and runs for 10 days.
Eriksson, who begins his sixth year on Courtenay City Council in 2018, is running on a simple platform: building partnerships.
He believes people who live in the region’s three municipalities and three unincorporated regional districts have common goals, and that by working together they can be more effective.
Eriksson isn’t using the “A-word” (amalgamation) because that’s a long and complicated process, which Valley voters have rejected in the past. But he believes there’s ample space for municipalities, the regional district, K’omoks First Nation and CFB Comox to share more services.
It’s one of his best skills, he believes, to resolve problems by helping people to find a common purpose.
“It’s amazing how effective you can be if you just talk … and discover that common ground,” he said.
Eriksson points to his support for the Committee to End Homelessness, the Community Health Network, the Food Bank and the Courtenay Youth Music Centre as examples.
If elected, Eriksson would apply those skills to bring the council together.
And he’s motivated by a single purpose, “to make things better for people who don’t have it so good,” he said.
Some candidates like to work on building campaigns privately, and announce at the last minute. But Eriksson didn’t hesitate to publicly announce his candidacy early.
“It’s going to take time to show voters all the ways we can work better through partnerships. I want to use the credibility I’ve built to champion this cause,” he said.