Early candidacy declarations have begun rolling just a few days after the nomination period opened in Harrison Hot Springs.
Incumbent Coun. Michie Vidal is running for her second council term, and Ed Wood has filed for mayor.
Vidal has been a councilor in Harrison since 2018. She received 384 total votes (approximately 52 per cent of the voters who participated in the 2018 election), 90 votes more than the next closest candidate, Allan Jackson. Her responsibilities on council include alternate municipal director on both the Fraser Valley Regional District Board and the Fraser Valley Regional Hospital District Board as well as being a member of Agassiz-Harrison Healthy Communities.
Vidal is a founding member of Friends of Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs, a grassroots group that spoke out against a proposed quarry that would’ve been built on Hot Springs Road.
Wood is not a stranger to running for local office, but this marks the first time he’ll be running for mayor. Wood last ran for a seat on village council in 2014, gaining 28 per cent of the vote, 75 votes behind then-incumbent Allan Jackson. Wood has previously worked for the city of White Rock as facilities maintenance manager, being commended for his work on the fire hall. He also worked for Vancouver and Surrey as well as a number of companies in the private sector.
Wood last made headlines when he spearheaded a petition against a proposed 10,000-square-foot cultural hub in 2019. In January of that year, council submitted a $4 million grant proposal to create a new civic building that would include room for cultural sharing with the Sts’ailes First Nation, pop-up exhibits for the Agassiz-Harrison Museum and new council chambers/theatre space.
The project would’ve cost about $4.8 million with about $1 million to come from the village. He gathered 247 signatures before appearing as a delegation before council in Oct. 2019.