Four months before nominations officially open, Coun. Rebecca Alty has announced her mayoral run – and several councillors have announced their bids for re-election.
“After six years I want to become more involved with the development and really see Yellowknife be the best place to live, work and visit,” said Alty in an interview with Yellowknifer.
If elected, Alty will create a way to track council progress on different files and will work to bring the city’s 10-year homelessness plan to fruition, she said.
She plans to spend the coming months meeting with residents to learn about their vision for the future of Yellowknife.
Alty is now on unpaid leave at her job as manager of communities and external relations at Diavik Diamond Mines to focus on her run for mayor.
“I now have the opportunity to talk to people and develop my platform over the coming months,” said Alty.
Budget-wise, the city should “live within its means” while supporting important projects that benefit residents, said Alty.
In recent interviews with Yellowknifer, councillors Julian Morse and Shauna Morgan announced they would seek re-election.
Morgan said she is running again to “continue momentum” with the city’s energy and sustainability files and implement the city’s 10-year community energy plan.
“I’m determined to support the continued strengthening and accountability of our city administration,” said Morgan.
Coun. Morse is running again because there is “more to accomplish,” he said.
In a prospective second term, Morse hopes to advance projects with the heritage committee, economic development initiatives, and work with the university feasibility study.
“For me, I really want to ensure Yellowknife has a prosperous future,” he said. “I think the city needs to focus more on economic development than it has in the past. It really matters to me and that’s why I ran.”
Coun. Linda Bussey will not seek re-election in October, and was proud of her achievements in office, she said.
“My plans right now are to move into a new job and it’s going to demand a lot. I ran on a platform to do some work with the homeless and I think I met my goals,” she said.
“I think what I stood for, I reached. I’m ready to go into the next chapter of my life.”
Before Bussey leaves office at the end of council’s term, she will work to get the GNWT “up to the plate” to back social initiatives for homelessness in the city.
“I think its time the GNWT injects money in it,” said Bussey. “We’ve taken on social issues and we don’t have a social issues department.”
Coun. Niels Konge hasn’t announced whether he will seek re-election.
“I’m keeping my options open,” said Konge, adding that the nomination date is several months away.
Konge ran on a platform focused on lands and planning. That review was conducted but has not been implemented yet.
“I’m hoping that will get done,” he said.
Mayor Mark Heyck announced in February that he would not seek re-election as Mayor, in a Facebook post.
“It has been an absolute honour and a privilege to serve the people of Yellowknife for the past decade and a half,” he wrote.
“After nearly fifteen years as a member of Yellowknife City Council – nine as a councillor and almost six as mayor – now is the time to step back.
My children were born during my first term as a city councillor and I’ve been an elected official their entire lives. I am stepping back from politics and I’m eager to spend more time with my family over the next few years.”