Cranbrook Mayor Wayne Stetski held a press conference outside Cranbrook City Hall on Wednesday, June 11, to announce that he’ll be seeking another term as mayor.
“I have really enjoyed working for the citizens of Cranbrook and therefore am announcing today that I will be seeking re-election as mayor on November 15, 2014,” Stetski said in a prepared statement.
“We are making good progress on removing barriers to business, on making Cranbrook more accessible for those with mobility challenges, on working towards a youth-friendly community, on improving roads and other infrastructure, on supporting the arts and multi-culturalism, in beautifying Cranbrook and in ensuring positive communications between the city and our residents.
“With the blessing of the community I want to see these improvements continue.
“Working with staff, council and the citizens of Cranbrook we have made significant accomplishments this term,” Stetski continued. “Over the upcoming five months I am looking forward to hearing what the people think my priorities should be for the next four years and then delivering on them.”
Stetski first ran for mayor of Cranbrook in 2008 against City Councillor Scott Manjak and resident John York. Manjak won that election. Stetski ran again in 2011, against City Councillor Jim Wavrecan, local businessman Pat O’Connell and John York again. Stetski won this time, with 45 per cent of the vote (4,859 votes cast). If he is successful in seeking a second term as mayor, terms will likely have been extended to four years instead of the current three, under proposed legislation by the Government of British Columbia.
Stetski said he has a team he’s working with who are providing information, direction, and suggestions.
“But I also want to hear from people in terms of what they think the priorities should be for the next four years,” he said. “That will help set the platform for the fall.”
Stetski did say there were a number of things he wished to continue: working with youth and other youth initiatives he’d like to see implemented; continuing to support cultural diversity; continuing to work on the Barriers to Business report which the Chamber of Commerce was asked to produce.
“Quite frankly, I want to be here to see some of the results of the initiatives we have underway, because I think they’re very positive initiatives for Cranbrook.”
Stetski was asked to list one thing he wasn’t expecting when he was first elected in 2011, or what he found most challenging over the past three years.
“The number one thing I’ve had to learn is patience,” he answered. “There are a number of things I’d like to see us move forward with in Cranbrook. We don’t necessarily have the money to move forward as quickly as I’d like to.”
Stetski didn’t know at this point who any potential competition would be, but he did have some advice for anyone seeking to run for mayor, or council for that matter.
“I’m interested in letting people know what I’ve learned about being mayor,” he said. “Number one: If you’re going to run for mayor, you really need to like people. And that’s people who are unhappy as well as happy. Having a real respect for all of the people in Cranbrook, and that’s one of the things that I’ve tried to focus on is making everybody feel welcome at City Hall, and making everyone feel like they have a place to come and express their concerns. That doesn’t mean they’re going to get the answer they want, but they need to feel that they’re welcome to come and express their concerns.
“Number two: I average between 40 and 55 hours a week. This not a part-time job — don’t even consider running for mayor if you think you’re going to do it on a part-time basis and keep some other businesses going. You will fail at something, whether being mayor or your job.
“Thirdly you will not change the world overnight. If you’re thinking, ‘I’m going to run for mayor because I’m really angry about something, and that’s going to change,’ well, it takes time to bring change. You have to learn patience.”
The elections for mayor and city councillors are set for November 15, 2014. Also on the ballot in Cranbrook will be a referendum question on whether to continue with fluoridation of the water supply.