With the 2022 Civic Elections quickly approaching, it is important for voters to become familiar with the people running for Mayor in the City of Merritt. The Herald sent out some questions to the four candidates running for Mayor: Mike Bhangu, Tony Luck, Mike Goetz, and Linda Brown. We will be sharing their answers individually with you each week, leading up to the elections on October 15.

Why do you want to become Mayor?

“Halfway through my second term as Councillor I knew one day I would run for Mayor. One reason I didn’t is at the time I was working full time and I felt, in order to be an effective Mayor, I needed to be retired so my full focus would be in office, plus I am excited to move ideas I have for this city. It is about service to the community that has been very good to me and my family.”

What makes you the best fit for the position?

“What makes me the best fit are my work ethic, 10 years of sitting as a councillor, as well as several committee chairs and liaison experience for ESS and the local museum.

I have an ability to listen and talk with people. As I have said before, some of the best ideas come from people in your community all you have to do is be there to listen.”

Give an example of a situation where you demonstrate your leadership abilities.

“One of the projects that I was lead on was the re established Airport Committee and the subsequent development of water and sewer lines. Once that was done, as council we were able to bring the Nicola Fire Base as a long term tenant. At the same time, I was Vice President of the Merritt Youth Ambassadors and worked with the Country Christmas Committee to keep the parade part of this community. I also designed a licensing and Inventory program for IBM the company, where I worked at for 20 years, I’m proud to say it is still the standard today.”

What issue should the city prioritize in addressing?

“The Main priority for me the first year is safety of the community, which focuses on fire and flood mitigation as well as a very comprehensive plan for the citizens to all know where to go in an emergency. As as a volunteer for ESS, I found almost no one being evacuated had any idea where to go. I would also like to perform several mock disasters to make sure we are ready for anything that may come our way. I also plan on working on our health care, housing, rent issues, and our economic growth. All of these have great importance.”

What is a goal you want to accomplish as Mayor by the end of your term?

“If at end of my term I know this community is safe, protected, growing with the work of Mayor and council, and no one has their door knocked on at 3 am ever again, then that would be enough for me.”