Mission Coun. Ken Herar is hoping to win a seat on the board of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. / File Photo

Mission Coun. Ken Herar running for a seat on UBCM board

Union of British Columbia Municipalities to hold online convention next week

Mission Coun. Ken Herar is hoping to win a seat on the board of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities.

Herar announced his intention to run for a director’s position with the union, which will hold its annual convention from Sept. 22-24. The convention will be held virtually.

Herar is one of 14 candidates vying for five available board seats.

“Last year I attended the convention and they deal with a lot of interesting issues from a municipal perspective,” Herar said

He has had an entire year to think about it and decided to throw his political hat in the ring.

“I decided to step forward because it would be good, not just for the District of Mission but for the whole Fraser Valley region, because there is nobody else running in the Fraser Valley.”

Herar believes the valley hasn’t done well having any representation on the board in the past.

He said former Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz was the last person from the Fraser Valley to be on the board, adding that he can’t recall anyone from Mission ever being elected to the board.

If he wins a seat, it won’t impact his current position as a councillor in Mission.

“It’s only six meetings a year,” he explained, adding the position is only for a one-year term.

Herar said there are many urban/rural issues to be dealt with from Internet service to COVID-19 and lobbying both the provincial and federal government for funds for better transit, transportation issues, affordable housing, rural policing, mental health and more.

“We’re in an economic recovery mode so as a body we can lobby for more funding for municipalities.

“Coming from a smaller community in the Lower Mainland, we know that we’ve lost our services here. Regionalization has taken a lot of our resources out of the community, like hospital services licensing services and court house services,” said Herar.

Only other BC councillors and mayors can vote in the election and Herar is busy talking to as many as he can.

He also wants to bring up the issue of supporting diversity.

“Today, with a lot of racial tension out there, I feel as a board that this needs to be brought up and get municipalities more involved in discussion on how we can make our communities more inclusive. Not just tackling racism but tackling cultural divide issues.”

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