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And then there were two

Coun. Susan Chapelle throws her hat in the ring for mayor
Susan Chapelle is running to be mayor of Squamish.

It is official: current municipal councillor and local business owner Susan Chapelle is running to be mayor of Squamish.

The two-term councillor announced her candidacy on Thursday night at The Chieftain with her father and supporters in attendance.

The event was also a celebration of her graduation from Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business on Wednesday.

She pointed to her education as one of the reasons she would make a good mayor.

“I have a Masters in Business Administration… an executive MBA, understanding finances, understanding the business climate,” she said.

She named “collaboration with council,” as one of the things she would be able to do as mayor that is harder as a councillor.

“Really bringing people together and working with the community,” she said.

Mayor Patricia Heintzman has also said she will run again this fall to keep her seat as mayor. No one else has officially announced they wish to run for mayor.

The nomination period is open September 4 to 14.

“I feel I am more capable of being able to create relationships, understand finances, economic development — and it is just time for me personally,” said Chapelle, adding she appreciates the 13 years Heintzman has served Squamish. “But this community is growing quickly, as we all know, and it is really going to take education, maturity in economic development, to lead the community into the future.”

She said the district’s unplanned for growth is a current issue she hopes to address.

“Financially, we cannot budget for the amount of infrastructure deficits we have,” she said, pointing to the District’s Integrated Flood Hazard Management Plan as a better example of good planning that has been done.

“Our flood planning did get done this term, but I can’t say we implemented housing policy,” she said.

She would like to see a housing authority set up for Squamish, if she were elected mayor.

Other areas she plans to focus on as mayor include what she considers to be more open and transparent government, putting in place more forward-thinking policies around land use, finances and transportation.

“To plan for the future,” she said.

In Squamish, the councillors serve part-time, while the mayor’s position is full time.

Chapelle said the organization and co-working space she founded, Aligned Collective, has a board of directors that will run it without her if she is elected, but she may still work as a massage therapist at her clinic, Squamish Integrated Health, from time to time.

“I still love doing massage. I still may do a day of massage,” she said. “I treat breast cancer patients, and that is something I feel there is enough space, running a small community, that if I felt like seeing my patients, I could still do that.”

Chapelle moved to Squamish in 2000 and has two daughters.

The Chief will be doing in-depth interviews with each of the candidates for council in the run-up to the election, which is scheduled for Oct. 20.

The official campaign period runs Sept. 22 to Oct. 20.

Stay tuned.


Video credit: Socially Robyn Facebook

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