Coun. Roy Grant is seeking the mayor’s chair in this year’s election and has former and current councillors’ support behind him.
Grant announced his bid for mayor of Campbell River at Spirit Square on Friday in front of a group of nearly 20 supporters that included former councillors Morgan Ostler, Laird Ruehlen and freeman Bill Matthews, as well as current councillor Andy Adams.
After nine years as a councillor, Grant believes he can best effect change at City Hall if he is elected as the city’s new mayor on Nov. 19.
“I just wasn’t up to the task of running for council again,” said Grant. “I think the city is not going in the direction it should be and I’m not the type of person to sit around and complain about things, I do something about it.
“I felt if ever there was a time to run for mayor, this would be the time.”
Grant said he feels the city could benefit from change, but harbours no ill feelings toward current Mayor Charlie Cornfield, who has yet to announce whether he will run again.
“I can only say what I think I’m able to do and what Charlie hasn’t been able to do but one thing I have to say about Charlie is that he always had the city of Campbell River’s best interests close to his heart, there’s no doubt about that,” said Grant. “I give him full credit for the work he’s done as a councillor and as mayor but as far as I’m concerned it’s time for a change in leadership.”
Grant, the longest current serving councillor, also spent six years on city council in Alberta in the 1980s.
While on Campbell River council he gained respect and appreciation from many of his fellow councillors.
Matthews, who worked on council for 23 years, three of them with Grant, believes he is right for the job.
“Roy has always been dedicated to this city and is a positive-thinking guy,” said Matthews, who is also working as Grant’s campaign manager. “He always has the city in the front of his mind, not himself, but the city.”
Matthews said his friend, who he has known for 25 years, is a reasonable person that can get consensus, something he thinks is lacking on the current council.
“He has a common sense approach and is very level-headed. I think he can do a good job,” he said.
Adams, too, thinks Grant is right for the job.
“In the last five and a half years of working with Roy, there has not been a harder working member of council,” said Adams. “The two things about Roy is that he’s positive and optimistic.
“You don’t hear Roy being negative and saying what can’t be done, he’s always looking at what can be done.
“Should I choose to run for council again, I would love to work with Roy as mayor. We have some challenging times ahead and we need some positivity rather than the negative.”
Adams said he also admires how Grant has the ability to respect people with opposing views and bring them together to move forward.
He also noted the sacrifices Grant has made and the time he has spent away from his job as a realtor in order to serve the city.
Grant said he was overwhelmed by the amount of support from Adams, Matthews, Ruehlen and Ostler and believes he won’t disappoint.
“We have faced many challenges in our city in the past years but with proper policy-making and management, we can all work together to reduce those challenges and get on with the business of leading the city into the future,” said Grant. “I am approachable, personable, optimistic, results-oriented and ready to be your mayor. I have shown the leadership and team building qualities required of a city leader and I am ready to use those skills as your mayor.”
Grant also encouraged others to run for council or mayor, noting there will now be an extra spot on council available with him not running.
“Instead of sitting back and complaining about things, put your name forward as a candidate,” he said.