It’s officially become a three-way race for the West Vancouver mayor’s chair, as current West Vancouver councillor Marcus Wong announced his intention to seek the top job this week.
Wong, currently serving his first term on council, focused on style rather than policy issues in making his announcement, saying he’s running for mayor to bring a more collaborative approach to municipal hall.
“For too long, I’ve seen neighbour pitted against neighbour, council against citizens, mayor against councillors,” he said. “I believe there’s a better way that we can be governing.”
Wong declined go into specifics about issues or debates he considered especially rancorous around the council table, but said council members haven’t always been able to “disagree passionately” and still move forward in a respectful manner.
An effective mayor should be able to “bring people inside the tent,” he said. “It’s not about dividing and conquering.”
Wong, 41, pointed to housing affordability, traffic congestion, and financial stewardship as key issues facing West Vancouver, but said he wouldn’t be releasing any policy platforms until closer to the election.
“I’m a true independent candidate,” he said, adding he isn’t affiliated with any special interest or political advocacy group in West Vancouver.
So far, incumbent West Vancouver Mayor Mary-Ann Booth and former mayor Mark Sager – who came within 21 votes of beating Booth in the last election – have both announced their intentions to run for mayor.
Wong, who recently championed the issue of eliminating racist covenants on British Columbia land titles, said he sees himself as a middle of the road candidate compared to Booth and Sager.
Wong, a longtime West Vancouver resident, has previously served on the West Vancouver Police Board as well as on the board of the North Shore Multicultural Association, and has previously worked with the Canadian Olympic Committee.