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Meech makes it a quartet in mayor's race

Renew Delta announces partial slate headlined by Tsawwassen professor

Tsawwassen resident John Meech has thrown his hat in the ring in the mayor's race in the upcoming civic election.

Meech, who made the announcement last Friday, is on a slate with the new electoral organization Renew Delta.

Also running for council positions for Renew Delta are Ranjit Heer, a North Delta resident and businesses owner who helped form the group, as well as former Delta Museum and Archives board chairman Garth Cuthbert.

A former member of the Southlands Community Planning Team, Meech, who's a professor at UBC, describes himself on his Facebook page as someone who believes in transparency and open democracy at all levels of government.

"We need leaders who are accessible to the people, who are listening to the people, and who act and make decisions that benefit all citizens, not just a small minority. In Delta, we have a fractured community with three distinct and separate population centres (North Delta, Ladner and Tsawwassen), each of which has limited understanding of the issues in the neighbourhoods of their sibling towns..."

He said the political methods used to rule the municipality have been based in the past on the premise of "divide and conquer."

Saying additional candidates will be announced for the slate in the coming weeks, Cuthbert issued an e-mail statement noting the opportunity to bring a fresh perspective to the community's leadership excites him.

"I am cautiously optimistic of my chances. I have a perspective created and influenced by friends and acquaintances through 35 years involvement with community groups and challenging career experience. I believe it prepares me for the leadership and governance accountabilities of a Delta councillor."

Cuthbert said he supports the high priority issues identified by Meech, including rising taxes coupled with decline in municipal services, Delta's inadequate or missing economic development strategies, stimulating Scott Road north of 72nd Avenue, and

making the best decision rather than the most popular one when it comes to the future of the Southlands.

None of the Renew Delta candidates have been on council before.

Also running for a council seat in the election are independents Sylvia Bishop, Neil Corbett, Scott Broderick and Andrew Conley, all trying to get on council for the first time.

Meanwhile, Coun. Heather King is vacating her seat to run for the mayor's job, while the other incumbents on council, including Mayor Lois Jackson, have all indicated they'll run again.

Former councillor Krista Engelland is taking another shot at the mayor's seat. She's part of a new electoral organization called One Delta.

The election will be held Nov. 19.

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