What the election plans of the mayor and town councillors are in Inuvik

·3 min read
After serving one term as mayor, Natasha Kulikowski decided to run as a councillor in the next election in Inuvik, N.W.T., on Oct. 18. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC  - image credit)
After serving one term as mayor, Natasha Kulikowski decided to run as a councillor in the next election in Inuvik, N.W.T., on Oct. 18. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC - image credit)

When Inuvik residents go to the polls in October, they will still see Mayor Natasha Kulikowski's name on the ballot.

However, it will be for town councillor instead of mayor this time around.

"I clearly love Inuvik, I stayed this long and I don't plan on going anywhere … so I do want to continue to serve the community but I hope to do it in a little bit of a different way than I have been," said Kulikowski.

Kulikowski has been mayor for one three-year term, but she had served as a town councillor prior to that, for three and a half years.

She said she's leaving the mayor's position but is proud of the redevelopment of the Chief Jim Koe Park and "some of the work in acknowledging and starting towards the recommendations of the TRC [Truth and Reconciliation Commission], and that work will continue."

David Thurton/CBC
David Thurton/CBC

Meanwhile, after being on town council for 23 years, Clarence Wood has decided to make the jump and run for mayor.

"With the experience I had, I thought I had more to add then being a councillor. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I just felt like I could do more for the town as a mayor," he said.

Wood hopes there will be at least 12 candidates who run for council's eight seats. In an unprecedented situation, all eight councillors were acclaimed during the last election.

What the incumbents are doing

Of the seven remaining councillors that ran last term, CBC has been able to confirm that Ray Solotki and Steve Baryluk have chosen not to run again.

"I'm proud of what was accomplished over the last two council terms. We were able to make significant infrastructure investments for improved as well as new infrastructure in the tens of millions of dollars. I wouldn't rule out running again some time in the future," said Baryluk.

Councillors Paul McDonald and Gary McBride stepped down from council earlier this year.

Councillors Kurt Wainman and Dez Loreen didn't get back to CBC before the deadline.

Councillor Alanna Mero, who has been a councillor for four terms, remains undecided. She's waiting to see how many people plan to put their names forward before making a decision whether or not to run.

She said she hopes there will be new voices on council and that this time, the councillors won't be acclaimed.

"That's not the way it should be," she said. "We definitely definitely need an election. We need ideas out there. We need people to really be interested."

She said that when you're acclaimed as a councillor, "you really wonder if you are the person the community wanted there since you just ended there by putting your name up."

Mero said she's been encouraging some community members to run, and is hopeful for a strong group.

Nominations opened earlier this week, and will close on Sept. 20.

Election day is Oct. 18.

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