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Kanakos makes it four not running again for Delta council

This year's election guarantees a major overhaul will be seen on city council
jeannie kanakos not seeking re-election
Coun. Jeannie Kanakos announced she will not be running again in October's municipal election.

Four-term Delta city council member Jeannie Kanakos has announced she won’t be seeking re-election in this year’s municipal election.

Thanking the residents of Delta, Kanakos this week said she made the decision after discussions with her family.

A Delta resident for more than 40 years, she noted she is known for doing her homework, something she also campaigned on during the last civic election, as well as having independent views including about the high-rise developments in North Delta.

“Some density is needed, however not at the cost of livability in the community - it is possible to achieve a balance through creative design and consideration of what the residents in the community are saying,” she said in a news release. 

Having served on most civic committees over the years, Kanakos said she has advocated for a healthy and safe Delta, demonstrated a commitment to livability and sustainability, while also championing social justice, reconciliation, as well as being a councillor who asked “tough” questions. 

Some of the things she said she’s most proud of include steps by the City of Delta towards reconciliation with the neighbouring First Nations, saying she hopes Delta will continue partnerships on the many issues of joint concern.

She also said it’s important to have improved and enhanced relationships with the social services sector who serve the vulnerable in Delta.

Also proud the city was able to get a new track built in North Delta, Kanakos said she hopes the same partnerships can be drawn on to improve tracks and recreation facilities in South Delta. 

“As a resident here in Delta, and now that all of my grandchildren live here, I will continue to advocate for a healthy, safe, livable Delta,” she said. “This community remains the best place to live, work and play in – because of our committed, caring community. Thanks to you all - for all your efforts and support along this journey.”

Kanakos was first elected to council in 2005 and served one term before leaving to try her hand at provincial politics. She returned for the 2011 election, getting elected after running with fellow independents Bruce McDonald on council and Laura Dixon who was re-elected to the school board.

McDonald and Dixon recently announced they are also not seeking re-election.

In addition to Kanakos and McDonald on council, Lois Jackson and Dan Copeland have also recently announced they are not seeking re-election, which means four council seats have been vacated for the Oct. 15 election.

It guarantees a new-look Delta council and the biggest single change in many years.

Change on Delta council has been gradual since the early 1990s with council members coming and going, but only three incumbents running for re-election have lost their seats over that time.

Mayor George Harvie and incumbent councillors Dylan Kruger and Alicia Guichon recently announced they’re seeking re-election, along with four others on their Achieving for Delta slate hoping to be elected to council for the first time.

It remains to be seen how many other people will declare their candidacies and join the election race with so many incumbents leaving.

Kanakos offered advice for new councillors: “My biggest hope for the newly-elected councillors is that they listen to the community voices when considering future development. It is the job of the council, with the help of staff, to find the balance between density and development.”

She added, “And, at every turn consider the environment and sustainability while balancing, livability, affordability, and beauty for now and future generations.”