Fort St. John 2018 city council candidates

Fort St. John won't see a race for mayor this election season, but residents have plenty of options when it comes to choosing the rest of city council on October 20.

Lori Ackerman was the only candidate to file for mayor and was elected by acclamation. Ackerman was first elected mayor in 2011, edging out Don Irwin for the seat by 60 votes. She was acclaimed for a second term in 2014. Ackerman was first elected to council in 2005.

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Meanwhile, all incumbent councillors have filed to run for another term. That list includes Larry Evans, Gord Klassen, Byron Stewart, Bruce Christensen, Lilia Hansen, and Trevor Bolin.

They are being challenged by Becky Grimsrud, Tony Zabinsky, Justin Jones, Chuck Fowler, Jim Harris, and Gabor Haris.

Election day is Oct. 20, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Legion. The inaugural council meeting will be held Nov. 5 at 5:30 p.m. with the oath of office in council chambers.

See below for a list of candidates.

Mayor

• Lori Ackerman

loriackerman
Lori Ackerman.

Lori Ackerman will serve her third term as mayor after being elected by acclamation. She was first elected to the position in 2011, edging out Don Irwin for the seat by 60 votes. She was acclaimed for a second term in 2014, with no other candidates running for mayor. Ackerman was first elected to council in 2005.

Read her thoughts about this year's election by clicking here.

View her nomination papers by clicking here.

Connect with Ackerman on Facebook at facebook.com/loriackerman.ca or Twitter @lori_ackerman.

Ackerman can be reached by phone at 250-787-8458 or 250-787-3956, or by email at lackerman@fortstjohn.ca.

Council

• Becky Grimsrud

beckygrimsrud
Becky Grimsrud.

Becky Grimsrud is a helicopter pilot by trade, flying in corporate and government officials and workers, which helps keep her finger on the pulse of the town. Grimsrud wants to see the city tighten its bidding process and rein in project overruns, figure out why so many businesses are building outside city limits, and spend more on the city's non-profit sector and arts and culture.

Read Grimsrud's answers to the Alaska Highway News election survey by clicking here.

View her nomination papers by clicking here.

Connect with Grimsrud on Facebook at facebook.com/beckygrimsrudFSJ.

Grimsrud can be reached by phone at 250-262-1900, or by email at beckygutteridge@gmail.com.

• Larry Evans

larryevans
Larry Evans.

Larry Evans is a former fire chief for the city and if you've never seen him entertaining guests about local history at the museum, well, you've probably never been to the museum. Evans wants to see the city spend more on infrastructure and economic development, and do more to reach out to developers to explain the downtown revitalization plan and the options available to them.

Read Evans' answers to the Alaska Highway News election survey by clicking here.

View his nomination papers by clicking here.

Connect with Evans on Facebook at facebook.com/larry.evans.39794.

Evans can be reached by phone at 250-785-2416 or 250-263-5067, or by email at ljfevans@shaw.ca.

• Gord Klassen

gordklassen
Gord Klassen.

Gord Klassen, a former pastor and business management consultant, characterizes himself as a big picture process guy, who wants to prioritize city spending on needs and actions identified in downtown, recreation, and transportation plans, and push the city to be more proactive in promoting itself to businesses and industry.

Read Klassen's answers to the Alaska Highway News election survey by clicking here.

View his nomination papers by clicking here.

Connect with Klassen on Facebook at facebook.com/FSJCouncillorGordKlassen, Twitter @gordklassen, or by visiting gordklassen.ca.

Klassen can be reached via phone at 250-787-1750, or via email at gord@gordklassen.ca.

• Byron Stewart

byronstewart
Byron Stewart.

Byron Stewart is following in his father's city council footsteps, and wants the city to improve its focus on art in the community, continue its collaboration with residents and community groups, and work to implement city plans to address the city's infrastructure, transportation, and recreation needs over the next 60 years.

Read Stewart's answers to the Alaska Highway News election survey by clicking here.

View his nomination papers by clicking here.

Connect with Stewart on Facebook at facebook.com/ByronStewartCouncillorCityOfFortStJohn, Twitter @ByronStewartFSJ.

Stewart can be reached via phone at 250-793-5923, or via email at bpstew@telus.net.

• Bruce Christensen

brucechristensen
Bruce Christensen.

Bruce Christensen is a retired businessman and active community volunteer, seeking a fifth term after he was first elected in 2006. Christensen thinks the city needs to continue promoting itself on a provincial and national level, and invest more in roads, and services for seniors and youth.

Read Christensen's answers to the Alaska Highway News election survey by clicking here.

View his nomination papers by clicking here.

Connect with Christensen on Facebook at facebook.com/Bruce-Christensen-Councillor-City-of-Fort-St-John-788721854523495.

Christensen can be reached via phone at 250-787-2202, or via email at pdg5370@telus.net.

• Lilia Hansen

liliahansen
Lilia Hansen.

Lilia Hansen is executive director for the Fort St. John Chamber of Commerce and is seeking a second term after winning a byelection in 2017. Hansen wants to see the city encourage more in-fill development rather than sprawling out, give more tools to the city's economic development team, and keep the public involved in the feedback and consultation loop.

Read Hansen's answers to the Alaska Highway News election survey by clicking here.

View her nomination papers by clicking here.

Connect with Hansen on Facebook at facebook.com/liliaforfsjcouncil.

Hansen can be reached by phone at 250-261-3148, or by email at liliahansen@shaw.ca.

• Tony Zabinsky

tony
Tony Zabinsky.

Tony Zabinsky is a retired banker active with the Chamber of Commerce, the Seniors Housing Society, and the Northern Lights College Foundation. Zabinsky is prioritizing financial discipline and municipal transparency, and wants to see the city spend less on land purchases and find a true solution to downtown development.

Read Zabinsky's answers to the Alaska Highway News election survey by clicking here.

View his nominations papers by clicking here.

Connect with Zabinsky on Facebook at facebook.com/tonyzabinskycitycouncil.

Zabinsky can be reached by phone at 250-787-7202, or by email at tony@zabinsky.ca.

• Justin Jones

justinjones-fsj
Justin Jones.

Justin Jones is a sales rep with United Rentals and fits the average demographic of the city: 28, and with a young family that recently moved to town. He's looking to join council to improve the quality of life for young families like his, from making sure arts and recreation is inclusive to all, attracting more major events, and bringing in more businesses to ensure more money is spent in the city.

Read Jones' answers to the Alaska Highway News election survey by clicking here.

View his nomination papers by clicking here.

Connect with Jones on Facebook at facebook.com/justinjonesFSJ.

Jones can be reached by phone at 778-256-2559, or by email at jjonescampaignteam@gmail.com.

• Chuck Fowler

chuckfowler-fortstjohn
Chuck Fowler.

Chuck Fowler, an employee with Peace Country Filtration, has been active behind the scenes politically, particularly with oil and gas advocacy group Fort St. John For LNG. He's turning his attention to civic politics to be part of the conversations and decisions that will guide the city through industrial growth in the region, with an eye to improve indoor recreation and supporting an increase in grants to non-profits and frontline social agencies.

Read Fowler's answers to the Alaska Highway News election survey by clicking here.

View his nomination papers by clicking here.

Connect with Fowler on Facebook at facebook.com/ChuckforFSJCouncil.

Fowler can be reached by phone at 250-794-6012, or by email at chuckfowler3772@gmail.com.

• Trevor Bolin

trevorbolin-fsj
Trevor Bolin.

Trevor Bolin, a real estate developer and businessman, prides himself on his public accessibility and the work done on the city's financial sustainability during his last 10 years at the council table. Still, he says the work isn't finished, with more to be done to improve snow clearing operations, learning from budget overruns over the past four years and better scrutinizing the cost of projects still on the books, and maintaining fair tax rates as the city grows.

Read Bolin's answers to the Alaska Highway News election survey by clicking here.

View his nomination papers by clicking here.

Connect with Bolin on Facebook at facebook.com/therealtrevfsj.

Bolin can be reached by phone at 250-262-7334, or by email at tbolin@me.com.

• Jim Harris.

jimharris-fsj
Jim Harris.

Jim Harris is a long-time Peace resident and manager at Hi-Performance Motor Sports. He has some thoughts about rethinking the city's downtown development plans, land purchases that rhyme with the Condill Hotel, and what the city could do to entice business and industry investments.

Read Harris's answers to the Alaska Highway News election survey by clicking here.

View his nominations papers by clicking here.

Harris can be reached by phone at 250-262-6916, or by email at aspfire@yahoo.com.

• Gabor Haris.

gaborharris-fsj
Gabor Haris.

Gabor Haris is a project accountant who wants to prioritize seniors housing and families with young children as a councillor, and believes the city has a role to play in investing in downtown infrastructure to help spur private development, and wants to see the city do more to market itself to a wider range of industries and business.

Read Haris's answers to the Alaska Highway News election survey by clicking here.

View his nomination papers by clicking here.

Haris can be reached by phone at 778-896-4067 or by email at gablifelearning@gmail.com.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.

© Copyright 2018 Alaska Highway News

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