Port McNeill mayor Gaby Wickstrom has officially announced she will be running for office again in October’s municipal election.
Wickstrom noted in a social media post it has been an absolute privilege for her to serve the community of Port McNeill in the capacity of mayor over the last four years.
She said while there were definitely some challenges along the way, being mayor has been extremely rewarding.
“There were so many items out of the scope of what is usually expected of a municipal leader,” she wrote. “Daycare, healthcare, housing, and our resource sector need continued attention and I am committed to working with others to solve these important issues.”
In an interview with the North Island Gazette, Wickstrom specifically spoke about the nearly eight month logging strike that decimated the North Island, which was then followed by the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m quite proud of what we accomplished despite those obstacles that we had,” she said. “I think that we made a lot of forward movement and really set the community up for some good things in the next four years.”
Wickstrom elaborated more on social media, stating that council has accomplished a new Official Community Plan, Zoning Bylaw (soon to be finalized), Active Transportation Plan and a Wildfire Mitigation Plan.
“Destination marketing guru, Roger Brooks, was hired to assess our community and many of the suggestions made have been implemented, resulting in a more vibrant, welcoming community,” she confirmed. “We’ve built sidewalks, upgraded our pool and harbour, began storm drain and sewer upgrades, and have been making steady progress on the Beach Drive slide mitigation area. We have partnered with First Nations on health care and BC Hydro issues and our Community Forest.”
Wickstrom also stated she believes the top issues for the next election cycle are housing, what to do with the Old School building, and recreation.
“Because the foundation has been laid over the last four to six years, I believe we are on the cusp of moving Port McNeill to the next stage of its development,” she added.
If elected again this fall, it will be Wickstrom’s second term as mayor.