Councillor eyes mayoral chair

Deadline still looming for undecided candidates

John Van Laerhoven has decided to run for mayor in the District of Kent.

“I’ve enjoyed the last three years,” he told the Observer. “There’s been some difficult times in the last few years but I wanted to contribute. I think I want to contribute even more.”

Van Laerhoven is currently a councillor in Kent, with a portfolio that ranges from parks and recreation to finances. He also sits on the Fraser Valley Regional Library committee.

He says his “two years and a bit” on council have taught him more about what goes on behind the political scene.

“I knew I’d learn a lot,” he said. “You always see something (one way) from the outside, but it’s never that easy.”

With the nomination process not starting until Oct. 4, it’s unclear yet who Van Laerhoven will be running against.

But he won’t be running against current Mayor Lorne Fisher, who has chosen to run as a councillor this time around. Like most council members, Fisher was away at the UBCM conferences all week so unable to comment. But he sent a message through Kent’s CAO Wallace Mah confirming he is running for council.

Darcy Striker, who has been on council for nine years, has decided to run again for council.

So has Ken Schwaerzle, who has been on council for just over four years now. He won a 2008 by-election held after a former councillor resigned after allegations of conflict of interest.

Councillor Holger Schwichtenberg was undecided when contacted by The Observer.

“I’d love to tell you but I just don’t know yet,” he said.

The nomination deadline for the November 19 civic election is October 14.

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