The municipal election campaign is unofficially on.
District of Squamish Councillor Jeff Dawson and the four members of Squamish New Directions (SND) released a joint news release Wednesday (July 13) announcing they all hope to keep their seat on council.
This time all five will run under the SND banner. Dawson won his seat in 2002 running as an independent candidate, while Mayor Ian Sutherland led the SND slate with Dave Fenn, Sony Lebans and Ray Peters.
In 2002, Dawson placed sixth in the councillor race behind former mayor Corinne Lonsdale. Raj Kahlon was the highest polling councillor.
Kahlon confirmed earlier this year that he intends to run for re-election when the municipal election takes place in November.
Lonsdale is the only member of council yet to indicate her intentions for the next election.
On Thursday (July 14) she said she hadn't made a decision about the next election.
"At this point in time I am not prepared to state exactly what I am going to do," Lonsdale said.She added that the SND announcement didn't surprise her.
Through the current council mandate Dawson and the SND council members generally voted together on major issues.
"I'm pleased to join SND as a candidate," Dawson said. "I like the fact that we all share the same progressive vision for the big picture, but can still disagree and vote differently on issues that come before us."
Sutherland said the team assembled under the SND for the 2005 municipal elections is an impressive one.
"We've proven we can work together to make Squamish an even better place to be," said Sutherland. "It's a privilege to run with Sonja, Jeff, Ray and Dave."
Fenn said he believes it is important for Dawson to campaign with SND.
"He understands the issues facing Squamish and has the business background to find the solutions," Fenn said. "As a group, I'm proud of the fact this council has worked successfully with a number of community interests, including environmental, recreational, tourism, social and business."
Lebans said she wants to continue with the work started in her first council mandate and to start on new initiatives.
"I believe we've been very successful on a lot of files," Lebans said. "The oceanfront lands purchase will be a landmark for Squamish. We've made big strides on a number of issues. The next step is to outline our goals for a second term and communicate that to the public for feedback."
Peters agreed with Lebans about past accomplishments and the need to do more.
"We've been able to accomplish a great deal and I'm looking forward to three more years of progress in our community," Peters said.
Former councillor and failed mayor candidate Paul Lalli reported he is seriously considering joining the election race in the fall.
"At this point I'm seriously considering it," said Lalli. "It is a family consideration at this point. If I do it, I will run as a councillor because I have a young family."
Lalli said he plans to make an official announcement in September.
No new council hopefuls have announced to The Chief that they intend to seek a seat on council in November.