Lois Jackson, Delta mayor for 19 years, now running for council seat
Jackson joining mayoral candidate George Harvie's slate
Lois Jackson has served as Delta's mayor for nearly two decades — but now she's aiming to land a seat as a city councillor in the upcoming municipal election.
Jackson will join mayoral candidate George Harvie's slate, named Achieving for Delta.
"Being in a council seat is quite, quite different than being a mayor," said Jackson on Monday, adding that she felt the need to step away from the mayor's role to focus on a health issue in her family.
"I feel that it's a lot less to do, and I would be very willing to help those transition into a new council and carry on with the legacy that we've all left here," she said.
Jackson said the mayor's job brought too many obligations, given her family situation.
"It is a very big job, and it's very demanding. You're on the road all the time. You're at conferences. You're doing speeches. You know I was doing 100 official social functions a year and more as they come up," she said.
But after announcing her plan not to run again as mayor, retirement wasn't sounding great.
"I must admit, I was not looking forward to it — everybody says, 'oh, retirement is the best thing.' I guess it's just not for everybody," said Jackson. "I like to be active. I like to be needed. I like to work with people. I love people, so I thought if I can still contribute, I'd be happy to do that if they want me."
Harvie has been Delta's chief administrative officer since 2001, working closely with Jackson.
"Having Lois back with me working is just tremendous," he said. "I've been trying to put the team together since May, and this is the last piece."
"Every team needs a bridge between yesterday and tomorrow, someone who can help the transition from what has already been achieved to what's possible for the future," said Harvie.
According to Jackson, part of her legacy as mayor has been community safety in Delta.
"After all this time, we have one of the safest communities in Canada. We've got one of the best communities in which we can live and I'm very fearful in just simply cutting that off at the knees," she said.
Harvie listed two campaign issues he's focusing on as the October vote approaches.
"The public are really worried about 1) is public safety and 2) is keeping our kids active, and off the streets and away from the gangs," he said.