A former City of Merritt councillor, having served 10 years in the role, Mike Goetz intends to have his name on the ballot during a municipal election for the fourth time since 2008. This time, the long-time local will put his name forward for the position of Mayor.
With his announcement, made via Facebook earlier this month, Goetz became the third person declaring their intention to run for the top spot in the council chambers this fall. Incumbent Mayor Linda Brown and Councillor Tony Luck both declared their intention to seek the Mayor’s seat in June. While this is his first time seeking the position, it isn’t Goetz’ first time considering the option.
“I always, in the back of my mind, had wanted to run for Mayor at some point in time. I was working full-time, and I thought that you can’t be an effective Mayor and have a full-time job,” said Goetz, speaking with the Herald regarding his decision to seek office once again.
In a social media post dated June 28, Goetz says he made the decision to run for Mayor after “this horrid year,” citing flooding, fires, and great personal loss as his motivation to run. First consulting with his family members, he says the motivation to run comes from a place of wanting to give back.
Goetz and his family, along with other Merrittonians living in the flood inundation zone, felt the impacts of November’s atmospheric river-caused flooding event more than anyone. In recovering from this, he has seen the need for mitigation efforts, aimed at preventing future climate-caused disasters.
“I was in the flood zone, in Zone 4, and we got flooded out. Everybody in this area wants to know about diking and future flood mitigation. We also need to be a FireSmart community, with all the wildfires and heat around us, we need to protect ourselves,” said Goetz, adding he is committed to being a present Mayor.
“I’ll be there for them all the way through everything, no matter how deep it gets. I’ll be there, I’ll walk the streets if you need me there, I’ll help you get back on your feet if something happens. I’ll make sure that council is there as well.”
Goetz said that a main concern of Merrittonians is the effectiveness of the City’s communication in times of crisis, and the transparency of council’s work in general. He says he is committed to leading a unified and fair council should he be elected Mayor, a role that requires its incumbents to chair council and other committee meetings.
Having served as a city councillor himself from 2008 to 2018, opting then not to seek re-election to focus on his personal life and family, Goetz is confident this experience will make him an effective Mayor and advocate for the residents of the community. He added that honesty, integrity, and accountability are key points of his leadership style.
“The whole idea of a council is teamwork, it all has to work together. The Mayor is no more important than a councillor, and everybody needs to work hand-in hand in order for these things to work,” added Goetz.
“When you work together for the community, the community benefits. Just because you’re a Mayor doesn’t mean you’ve got all the answers. Some of your best ideas come from people in the community who come to you with an idea.”
While only three individuals have now declared their intent to run for Mayor in the fall, and only two for council, Goetz is hopeful that others will throw their hat in the ring for what he calls a rewarding but challenging job.
The 2022 municipal election is set for October 15, and will see Merrittonians elect one Mayor and six Councillors for a four year term.