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Lilia Hansen adds name to race for mayor

Leadership goes hand-in-hand with mayor's position, says Hansen: “It's one of my strengths... I work well with others and I consider myself a bridge-builder.”

Unofficially, there are now two names on the ballot for mayor in Fort St. John's municipal election in October.

Councillor Lilia Hansen became the second person Thursday morning to publicly announce plans to run for the position.

“I consider myself a community champion,” she said, when asked by the Alaska Highway News to describe herself in three words or less.

Born in Dawson Creek but raised in Fort St. John, Hansen pinpoints the city's vibrancy as one of the things she loves about her city.

“Anyone that has ever come to Fort St. John, right away, they comment about our friendliness. They also see the energy and activity that's going on," she said.

"It's not just our business sector, which is something I'm very passionate about, but it's also our community – everything from our sports, arts and culture, to our music. There's something going on almost every night of the week.”

Hansen takes pride in the fact she learned, at an early age, the value of community.

“I guess it was at Bert Ambrose when I was a Brownie. I think that kind of started my life-long love of being involved in community events and organizations.”

“When I was a young mom, I was part of Sigma Beta Phi and then moved on to Rotary,” added Hansen. “I get a lot of pleasure out of helping other people.”

First elected in a byelection in 2017, the married mother of two will complete her first full-term as councillor in October and believes the time is right to put her name forward as mayor, a position that will be left vacant with the departure of Lori Ackerman.

“I think having the experience of being on council does give you a greater appreciation of the time and demand of, not only a mayor, but their family,” Hansen said.

“It's also about being able to listen, being able to collaborate, being able to ask probing questions and, at the same time, thinking ahead five, ten, even 25 years from now on how the city might look.”

And, leadership, she believes, goes hand-in-hand with the position.

“It's one of my strengths. I have a very communicative style. I really do love to discuss ideas and engage in conversation. I work well with others and I consider myself a bridge-builder.”

Hansen added she's hoping to continue, as mayor, advancing the work that's already been started by the current council.

For now, Hansen and fellow councillor Tony Zabinsky are the only two candidates to publicly declare their plans.

The first day that nomination papers can be filed by candidates is August 30.

Election day is October 15.

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