For the first municipal election since 1999, Ladysmith voters will have a choice on the mayoral ballot on November 19.
Hoping for the chance to sit at the head of Ladysmith’s governing table are incumbent Rob Hutchins, and political newcomer Regan Grill.
Grill is a former yoga and prenatal instructor who wants to pursue a future in government office.
“I could see myself being an MLA or an MP and I thought mayor was a great place to start,” she said.
Grill, a Cassidy resident, said her decision to run for Ladysmith’s mayor’s seat occurred while she was considering filing nomination papers for Electoral Area A, in the Regional District of Nanaimo. At that time, there were no submissions filed for the mayor’s seat in Ladysmith.
“Democracy thrives on two things: a non-apathetic voting population… and candidates, and if you don’t have candidates, then people disconnect, “ Grill said. “I felt compelled to offer myself in service to the community of Ladysmith and give them a choice.”
Grill said the key to being a good public servant is understanding that as a politician, you’re in service to the people. She has been spending time canvassing members of the community about the issues that matter to them.
“With that in mind, I think most things can be overcome. There’s always a solution to be found when you work together and come together as a community,” she said.
Grill says she brings a background in business management to the table. The 34-year-old also encourages voters to look at her age as a benefit and asset to the position.
“The bottom line is that I’m a skilled, qualified individual and I have a good head on my shoulders,” she said. “I’m young, I’m healthy, I’m vibrant, I’m thriving and I’m ready to get to work.”
Despite 18-years as mayor of Ladysmith, Hutchins says he is not taking anything for granted.
“I’m going to be running a full campaign,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity to connect with, and hear from residents on their doorsteps, so I will be doing a lot of door-knocking.”
Hutchins’ hope is that residents become engaged and participate in the democratic process on November 19.
“The decisions of government have a great impact on our daily lives, and the selection of those that help set policies for the community is critical,” he said.
In the weeks ahead, Hutchins said he is looking forward to hearing residents’ concerns and aspirations for a township in which the community spirit is second to none.
“Ladysmith is such an incredible community to have the opportunity to provide leadership or serve in a municipal role,” he said. “I’ve had that privilege to serve that role for the last six terms and I still believe that I have something to provide and add to the community, and I’m still enjoying help build the community.”