Promising to “eliminate the drama” in council chambers, Trail city councillor Colleen Jones will seek the mayor’s job.
“I felt I have a different leadership style to bring forward,” she said in an interview. “In the last four years I’ve worked hard representing the citizens.”
Jones is completing her first term as a councillor. She said she was disappointed the entire council was acclaimed in 2018, as she felt it didn’t give people a chance to get to know her or learn why she was running.
For the last few months she has served as the city’s regional district representative. She is also a director on the Association of Kootenay Boundary Local Governments, which she said opened her eyes to how a well-functioning board should run.
“They were very open, very inclusive, very respectful,” she said. “Everyone had an opinion. There was no judgement. It was really good.”
By contrast, things have not gone smoothly on Trail city council the last four years. Mayor Lisa Pasin and councillors Robert Cacchioni and Sandy Santori were all found to have committed code of conduct violations in two separate investigations. Jones was one of four councillors who complained about Pasin and Santori in the second case.
Jones said she expects council’s infighting will come up during the campaign, but doesn’t want to dwell on it. She said she was ready to move on long ago, but “that didn’t happen. It kept coming up and coming up. It really slowed down the business of the city. We weren’t together as a team.”
Jones said she would prefer to focus on creating more housing “at every level” as well as supporting the city’s homeless population. She said she would also like to work more closely with local businesses, particularly those downtown.
“I’m going to work hard to develop healthy relationships and partnerships with staff and council and city employees, and the community. My intention is to eliminate the drama and make sure everybody around the council table is included and respected and involved in all the decisions.”
Jones will run against Pasin, who in 2018 became the first woman to be mayor of Trail. This will be the first time in the city’s history that two women have sought the mayor’s position.
Meanwhile, councillor Paul Butler confirms he will seek re-election. Seven non-incumbents are also seeking spots: Bev Benson, Glen Byle, Bryan DeFerro, Ravi Ganhda, Thea Hanson, Jeff Jones and Terry Martin.
Hanson, a realtor, and Jones, the retired superintendent of the Kootenay Lake school district, filed their papers today.
Councillor Carol Dobie is expected to join them, meaning that unlike 2018 there will be a race for council.