Dooley, Kozak undecided during build up to Nelson election

Nelson's city council members have begun to announce their intentions for this fall's municipal election.

Neither John Dooley nor Deb Kozak have confirmed their election plans yet, and rumours abound that perhaps they’ll be in a head-to-head race for the mayor’s seat later this year.

“From where I’m standing, I’d like to say that I’m still very enthusiastic about what I’m doing. We’re making incredible strides. And if I still feel the same way in a few months, I’ll take a crack at it again, for sure,” Dooley said.

Though Kozak has yet to release any statement about her election plans, if she opts to seek the mayoral chair and is unsuccessful, she would lose her council seat, as happened to Donna Macdonald when she ran for mayor most recently in 1999.

Dooley’s reluctance to commit makes Kozak’s decision more difficult.

“Unfortunately, it’s all-or-nothing,” said Macdonald.

Macdonald, meanwhile, confirmed again that she is retiring from council.

“I’ve served for 19 years and I have some other things I’d like to do,” she said. “I’m going to spend more time with friends and family, and I have a lot of writing projects.”

Macdonald has already completed a book-length memoir titled Surviving City Hall. She had originally hoped it would be finished in time to give to candidates during this election, but unfortunately that won’t happen. She is currently revising the manuscript in hopes of interesting a publisher.

Candace Batycki has also decided not to run again.

“It’s not that I’m not running because I don’t like being a councillor,” she said. “It’s just the timing of other things in my life. Maybe I’ll do it again someday.”

Batycki plans to return to her conservation career. She’s been completing a Master’s degree while on council, and is looking forward to re-entering the workforce.

Paula Kiss will return to school to study project management once her term ends.

“I hope a lot of good candidates think about running, and if anyone has questions I’d be happy to let them know what the job entails,” she said.

That means the entire female contingent of city council is either leaving or unconfirmed, leaving only Dooley along with longtime council members Bob Adams and Robin Cherbo, both of whom enthusiastically confirmed that they would be returning.

“I still think I have the time and energy and knowledge to help the city move ahead,” said Adams.

Robin Cherbo followed suit.

“There’s always lots to do,” he said. “I figure I’ve got another four years in me at least.”

One major change to this year’s municipal election is term length. In the past, councils have been elected to a three-year term. This year that has been raised to a four-year stint.

Voting day is November 15.

 

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