Long-time district councillor Mandy McGregor has confirmed that she will be running for mayor of Elkford.
McGregor, who has spent almost 14 years as a councillor after first being elected in 2008, wants to break the conceptual barriers between district councillors and employees and residents of town, and promote open communication and empowerment for peoples’ voices to be heard.
“My platform has and always will be: it’s about you, it’s about me, it’s about we, the people of Elkford,” she said in an interview with The Free Press.
“I want to be able to find a way to empower the community to bring their concerns forward, to know that their concerns are being listened to, to know that their concerns are being discussed, and trying to figure out solutions for them.”
She said she wants both councillors and residents to be able to bring immediate concerns to the council table to be addressed, and would like to tweak their regular meeting agendas to make an avenue for such concerns to be heard.
“If there’s something really pressing that’s going on, and it’s outside of the agenda, I’d still like to see there be an avenue for it to be addressed.”
She said there ‘has to be a better way’ to make the community feel validated, involved, and part of the process.
McGregor will be concluding her fourth consecutive term on council in October, and said she originally ran to give back to the community and to do her part to say thank you.
“My philosophy is, and always has been, you get out of it what you put into it.”
“I had enthusiasm, energy, why not put into the community. The community had always done good for me. I wanted to give back.”
She is most proud of her money-saving efforts with the district, her spearheading of the Elk Valley business licence, and her advocacy for a new and more user-friendly district website.
McGregor, who was born in Victoria and spent much of her youth moving around with her military family, moved to Elkford when she was in high school in 1980, and has since raised a family in town.
“Elkford was the only place I have felt like I’m at home.”
McGregor is the over-20-year owner and operator of Baby’s Booty, a custom sewing and baby boutique business. She has sat on the library board as a district rep since the start of her time on council, works with the Youth Action Network as a district rep, is co-chair of the district’s housing committee, and attends Teck community advisory meetings.
She said she has put thousands of hours in the past into volunteer work outside of council, and noted her contribution to bringing the playground to town with the Elkford Community Enhancement Society, among other volunteer contributions.
McGregor is the administrator of the Facebook group Elkford’s Bulletin Board, and said she pays attention to what people are saying.
“I was always out there talking with people, having stuff to do with people at all different levels. Hearing what they had to say.”
She said she feels that she’s always had her thumb on the pulse of the community.
“I want the members, I want the residents, I want the people, I want all the beings of the community to be connected. With connection comes respect, with respect comes pride,” she said.
“It’s not just me for me. It’s me for you, it’s for all of us.”
The election is taking place on October 15.